Chapter

Oligoptic Engineering: Light and the Victorian City

in The Victorian Eye

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780226640761
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226640785 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226640785.003.0003
Oligoptic Engineering: Light and the Victorian City

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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This chapter looks at “oligoptic” visual practice, whereby small groups of individuals freely monitored each other, and the role of nonpanoptic supervision as techniques of organizing such liberal self-observation. More specifically, it looks at four material strategies designed to embed such visual conditions: street widening, smoke abatement, glazing, and soundproof paving. In all these cases, it shows how careful attention to material systems reveals as much mess, breakdown, and confusion as system and pattern.

Keywords: visual practice; nonpanoptic supervision; self-observation; street widening; smoke abatement; glazing; soundproof paving

Chapter.  12433 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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