This talk presents new research looking at the relation between camera and cycle technologies in late Victorian Britain. Despite the challenges of carrying heavy and fragile glass-plate cameras on likewise heavy and laborious to ride machines, in this period combining cycling and photography was felt so close that contemporary commentators could write of ‘cyclo-photographers’.
A reason for this popularity was the confluence of new ways of moving and seeing that the engagement with these two modern cultural technologies had made possible, and that photographers embraced as a condition of being modern. This influenced profoundly the development of camera technology and its uses from the late nineteenth century.
As the talk shows, this was because cycling enabled a new experience of visualisation as individual expression that, in turn, shaped how cyclo-photographers thought of camera practices and what they expected of camera technology.
A Cultural History of Combined Technologies: Photographing and Cycling in Late Victorian Britain
Dr Sara Dominici
School of Humanities, University of Westminster
14 November 2018, 2:00 - 3:30pm
Royal College of Art, Battersea, Gorvy Lecture Theatre
Image: Cover of The Cyclist’s special annual issue for 1887
© From the Cycling Photographica Collection of Lorne Shields, Toronto (ON) Canada