Model building with wind and water : Friedrich Ahlborn's photo-optical flow analysis

Hinterwaldner, Inge. (2015) Model building with wind and water : Friedrich Ahlborn's photo-optical flow analysis. Studies in history and philosophy of science, Vol. 49. pp. 1-17.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6337463

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Around 1900, several experimenters investigated turbulences in wind tunnels or water basins by creating visualizations. One of them, the German zoologist Friedrich Ahlborn (1858–1937), was familiar with the works by his contemporaries but he struck a new path. He combined three different kinds of photographs taken at the same time and showed the same situation in his water trough—but each in a different way. With this first basic operation, Ahlborn heuristically opened up a previously non-existent space for experimentation, analysis, and recombination. He generated an astonishing diversity of information by adopting the tactics of ‘inversions’ in which he interpreted one part of the experimental setup, or its results, in different ways. Between the variants of the ‘autographs’ which he developed, he defined areas of intersection to be able to translate results from individual records into each other. To this end, Ahlborn created other sets of visual artifacts such as drawn diagrams, three-dimensional wire frame constructions, and clay reliefs. His working method can be described as a cascading array of successive modeling steps, as elaborated by Eric Winsberg (1999), or of inscriptions in Bruno Latour's words (Latour, 1986). By examining Ahlborn's procedures closely we propose conceptualizations for the experimenter's various operations.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Künste, Medien, Philosophie > Ehemalige Einheiten Kunstwissenschaften > Neuere Kunstgeschichte (Boehm)
UniBasel Contributors:Hinterwaldner, Inge
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:07 Aug 2015 12:06
Deposited On:07 Aug 2015 12:06

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