• Seeing From Above: The Aerial View in Visual Culture
    Mark Dorrian and Frederic Pousin
    I.B. Tauris Publishers, 2013
    Mark Dorrian & Frederic Pousin

The Captive Balloon and Ferris Wheel at the World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893, Chicago. Photograph from Hubert Howe Bancroft, The Book of the Fair (Chicago, San Francisco, The Bancroft Company, 1893).

This book, comprising sixteen original chapters, is the outcome of a two-year collaborative research program involving British and French scholars. The aerial view is a crucial topic within the history of visuality, but has until now received surprisingly little direct scholarly attention. Structured through a series of detailed case studies, this innovative volume will be the first to conceptualize the aerial view within a longue durée. Underpinned by a cross-disciplinary approach that draws together diverse and previously isolated material, it examines the politics and poetics of the aerial view in architecture, art, film, literature, photography, and urbanism, and explores its role in areas such as aesthetics and epistemology. The book will make a key contribution to image-based research in the humanities and social sciences by establishing the principal scholarly resource for this topic and will—through its conceptual and methodological approach—stimulate, enrich, and diversify new scholarship in its field.

Mark Dorrian holds the Forbes Chair in Architecture at the University of Edinburgh and is codirector of the art, architecture, and urbanism atelier Metis. His authored and coedited books include Metis: Urban Cartographies (2002), Deterritorialisations: Revisioning Landscapes and Politics (2003), Critical Architecture (2007), and Warszawa: Projects for the Post-Socialist City (2009). His essays on the aerial view—from ferris wheels to satellite imagery—appear in Urban Space and Cityscapes (2006), Architecture Between Spectacle and Use (2008), Log 12 (2008), and Parallax 15 (2009). He is a member of the advisory board of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh, where he is currently organizing a research theme on Atmospheres and Atmospherics.

Frédéric Pousin is a director of research in the 'Géographie-cités' research group (UMR), CNRS–Université de Paris 1, where he also supervises theses in the Ecole doctorale de géographie de Paris. Between 2005 and 2008, he was codirector of the CNRS team Laboratoire dynamiques sociales et recomposition des espaces. He holds a doctorate from the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, where his research was supervised by Louis Marin. His doctoral study was subsequently published as L'architecture mise en scène: Essai sur la représentation du modèle grec au XVIII ème siècle (1995). His other books include Figures de la ville et construction des savoirs: architecture, urbanisme, géographie (2005); Signes, Histoire, Fictions: Autour de Louis Marin (2003); and Enseigner la conception architecturale: Cours d'architecturologie (1994, 2001). He is a member of the editorial committees of Espaces et sociétés and Les carnets du paysage.