Aesthetics of Co-registration: Spirit Photography, X-rays and Cinema



This chapter broadens its focus outward from cinema to examine the supernatural implications of two photographic practices adjacent to cinema: spirit photography and X-ray photography. The chapter argues that both share an aesthetic principle whereby various layers of information are collapsed onto a single plane, which they share with cinematic double-exposure techniques. This aesthetic would be central to the double-exposure techniques frequently used to represent ghosts in the silent era (and to a lesser extent, beyond it). Carrying over from the discussion of George Albert Smith in the previous chapter, focus is placed on Smith’s The X-ray Fiend (1897), an early film that depicts the use of X-rays.


Double Exposure Walk Away Psychical Phenomenon Early Cinema Psychical Research 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CalgaryCanada

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