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Leen Engelen: The Panoramic Image: Principles, Projects and Projections
29.11.2021 • 12/11/21 18:00 – 12/11/21 20:00
Online Lecture

The panoramic view. The quest to see it all. The wish to see more than meets the eye or to show what does not fit the screen, the canvas or the page has stirred the imagination of artists, scientists, entrepreneurs and fantasists for centuries. When transposed into a panoramic image – be it painted, projected, sculpted or computer rendered – reality becomes a mediated spectacle and people are turned into spectators. Creating a space within a space, the panoramic form has realized its potential to provide a shared immersive experience (initially described as chiefly ‘modern’) in many different media(ted) constellations: from contemporary sculptural installations to 19th century geographic models; from painted panoramas and panoramic projections to computer altered realities.

Panoramic media have often been placed in the pre-history of cinema. By taking them out of this context and moving away from a chronological approach and a teleological perspective on technologies, ‘the panoramic’ becomes a cultural trope in its own right. In this lecture we go on a tour through panoramic media cultures of the 18th to 21st century. We will travel to places as divergent as the artist’s studio, the patent office, the fairground and the exhibition space.


Leen Engelen ist Film- und Medienhistorikerin aus Belgien. Sie lehrt an der LUCA School of Arts/KU Leuven und ist leitende Forscherin im B-Magic-Projekt (Erforschung der magischen Laterne in Belgien) an der Universität Antwerpen. Ihre Forschungsinteressen umfassen Film- und Kinogeschichte, Medien und Film im Ersten Weltkrieg, Spektakelkulturen, visuelle Medien, Stereofotografie sowie Panorama und Ephemera. Sie lehrt in den Bereichen Film- und Mediengeschichte und Medienarchäologie. Leen ist Präsidentin der International Association for Media and History (

Fig. 1:
Courtesy of Studio Hans Op de Beeck