The Cultural Landscape of Three-Dimensional Imaging

The Cultural Landscape of Three-Dimensional Imaging

Sean F. Johnston (University of Glasgow, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4932-3.ch009
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Abstract

This chapter explores the cultural contexts in which three-dimensional imaging has been developed, disseminated, and employed. It surveys the diverse technologies and intellectual domains that have contributed to spatial imaging and argues that it is an important example of an interdisciplinary field. Over the past century-and-a-half, specialists from distinct fields have devised explanations and systems for the experience of 3-D imagery. Successive audiences have found these visual experiences compelling, adapting quickly to new technical possibilities and seeking new ones. These complementary interests, and their distinct perspectives, have co-evolved in lock-step. A driver for this evolution is visual culture, which has grown to value and demand the spectacular. As a result, professional and popular engagements with 3-D have had periods of both popularity and indifference, and cultural consensus has proven to be ephemeral.
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Background: The Role Of Culture

Culture is often overlooked in scientific and technical fields, but much less frequently in overtly artistic and creative fields. 3-D imaging involves all of these, and so a comprehensive appreciation of the field demands a universal glue to bind its components together.

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