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Kodak’s Colorama and the Construction of the Gaze in Public Space

Vivien Philizot


Between the 1950s and 1989, Kodak continuously occupied a surface of approximately one hundred square metres in New York’s Grand Central Station with a display of panoramic photographs that were changed regularly. These giant “Coloramas” presented photographed scenes that were taken specifically for the project, with the hundreds of images displayed during this period all showing an idealised representation of the American family. These photographs would, however, have remained ordinary had their defining feature not been the placement of the photographer within the frame of the image. By connecting photography to the point of view by which it is constructed, these panoramas seem to prescribe to their public a certain relation to the images, and to initiate a reflexive process which seems to have now become general. The huge area covered by the Coloramas has today given way to the more discreet surface of our smartphones, laptops and other digital tablets, which govern our various visual practices and reorganise the notions of image, point of view and reflexivity in new ways. Between the Coloramas of the 1960s and today’s touch screens, the question arises as to whether the multiplication and spread of visual surface has changed something in the way that image – and thus the gaze – is built in public space.

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Surface and point of view

1On 15 March 1950, Kodak, founded by George Eastman, inaugurated an unusual display space on the eastern balcony of New York’s Grand Central Terminal. This space, called “Colorama”, consisted of a backlit surface 18 metres wide and 5.5 metres high, with an enormous panoramic picture of approximately one hundred square metres that would be changed every three weeks. The 565 images that were successively displayed until 1990 presented scenes that were photographed specifically for the project, all showing an
idealised representation of the American family in an environment filled with goods or postcard landscapes:​index.php?/​exposition/​passees-2017/​expo-Colorama. In their White Night manifesto, Vinca Kruk and Daniel Van Der Velden, founders of Metahaven, assert that “the multiplication of surface […] is the new reality of design” (Van der Velden and Kruk 2008: 3). This surface is the area occupied by advertising in public space, which can be measured in terms of newspaper inserts, posters, and luminous displays. Each of these surfaces produces a value directly related to its expanse, on the one hand, and to its exposure time, on the other. As the two designers say:

The city becomes the profit base of a virtual spin: the multiplication of surface accounts for the exponential growth of value extracted from the public space. By our being in public, by simple existence, we already automatically affirm the exposure which grants the surface infrastructure its right to the city. The inhabitants of cities are, through this mechanism, directly inscribed into the means of value production. (Van der Velden and Kruk 2008: 3).

2If one agrees with this idea – image made valuable – then the Colorama, this 100-square-metre image extended over a period of 40 years in a space frequented by half a million people every day, appears as the huge manifestation of the consumerist image pushed to the extreme within the public space. The surface described by the designers thus seems to find its ideal form in the Kodak project at a time when the market economy was expanding.

3In their excesses, these images are obviously to be re-read from the perspective of advertising photography critique and, more generally, from that of the visual productions of cultural industries. Since the 1960s, these have been assiduously de-constructed by many authors in the wake of the Frankfurt School and the critique of Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard and Guy Debord, to name just a few, then by scholars of English and American visual studies from the late 1980s. Put in rather simplistic terms, these different approaches then converged towards a definition of the visual field as “construction”, which WJT Mitchell thus summarised at the beginning of the 2000s:

In short, a dialectical concept of visual culture cannot rest content with a definition of its object as the social construction of the visual field, but must insist on exploring the chiastic reversal of this proposition, the visual construction of the social field. (Mitchell 2002: 171).

4Here, the theory of visual culture postulates that every image, in its construction, necessarily takes in sets of prejudices, normative principles or perceptual schemes, which are all ways of “constructing” the visual field. However, Mitchell's chiasmus indicates that this idea immediately finds its counterpoint in the construction of the gaze itself. That is, in everything that is outside of the image: in the field of social practices.

5In this light, the Coloramas seem to be almost too obvious examples of the ideological regime of the image, at a time when, after the war, visual communication techniques redoubled their efforts and sophistication to reach their audiences. First, to take these images as case studies requires finding a way through the many discourses of which they are the targets (how is it possible not to reproduce, in another form, the mythological analyses that Barthes devoted to their European counterparts?). Second, it also means questioning the future of these images, of which our contemporary world, that of 2018, is the heir. The hypertrophied surface of the Coloramas has now been reduced to the more discreet space of our smartphones, laptops and other digital tablets, which govern our different visual practices and reorganize the notions of image, point of view and reflexivity in a new way. In doing so, the value of the surface has been kept or has even increased tenfold when looking at the profits generated by purchases of digital space and the smartphone economy. How did the gaze adapt to these changes? How has our way of looking at images changed? How is the iconological dimension of these surfaces connected to their physical and technical properties? Between the Coloramas of the 1960s and today’s touch screens, did the multiplication of the surfaces of which Metahaven speaks alter something in the way that the image – and therefore the gaze – is constructed in public space? Throughout this article, the surface and the point of view can certainly facilitate the understanding of the necessary tension established by visual history between the image and the gaze.

6Finally, we must evoke the inscription of this tension within the public space – a space that has been the subject, since the sixties, of several attempts of conceptualization, and that is here to be related to these two large activities, communication and politics. The analysis of this space, from Habermas (Habermas 1962) to Oskar Negt (Negt and Kluge 1993), has included the rise of mass-media and advertising – of which the Coloramas are an accomplished example – however, its visual scope has not truly played a central role in these studies. Furthermore, the visual field has, at least since the end of the twentieth century, become a cross-disciplinary space for reflection, characterized, as stated by Maxime Boidy, by a “resistance to disciplinarity” (Boidy 2017: 29). Thus, part of the reflexion on Coloramas implies examining the way in which visual studies – in which category of study this essay falls – may refresh the reflexion on public space, already conducted in the fields of sociology, philosophy or urban studies. This question is precisely addressed by some authors such as WJT Mitchell, when he talks about art and images in public space:

The very notion of public art as we receive it is inseparable from what Jurgen Habermas has called ‘the liberal model of the public sphere’, a pacified space distinct from economic, private, and political dimensions. In this realm disinterested citizens may contemplate a transparent emblem of their own inclusiveness and solidarity and deliberate on the general good, free of coercion, violence, or private interests. (Mitchell 1994: 378-379)

7We should certainly keep in mind this fictional ideal of a pacified public sphere as we observe the visual material of the Coloramas.

The construction of the (family) image and its critique

8From the early twentieth century, Kodak opted for an active communication strategy, focusing on exhibitions and major events such as “The Grand Kodak Exhibition”, an exhibition across the United States, which occurred as early as 1904, and “The Cavalcade of Color”, presented at the Kodak Pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair. This exhibition exploited the potential of the Kodachrome process – a colour reversal film – first developed for cinema then adapted for use in mainstream photography (Pollet 2012). The slide with its cardboard frame was introduced in 1938 and was accompanied by the Kodak Slide Projector, which would then be succeeded by the famous “Carousel”. The subsequent year's show in New York was an opportunity for Kodak to flaunt the advantages of the projected image. Ten years later, colour images still only represented two percent of Kodak's turnover; however, the company was keen to reign-in this steadily growing sector. In line with its commercial policy, in 1950, Kodak planned to present “The Cavalcade of Color” in the lobby of New York’s Grand Central Station, through which 500,000 people passed every day. Technical issues forced Kodak to revise its project to the form with which we are now familiar: rather than a slide show, it would be a single image, but one that was disproportionately large (Hope 2005). Everything in this project went beyond the usual proportions of promotional image design, including the panoramic cameras that were specially crafted by Kodak engineers to take such huge photographs. The size of the enlarger and the developing time – more than sixteen hours – were also bigger, and the backlight system consisted of one kilometre of neon lights. Photographers such as Ansel Adams, Neil Montanus, Norman Kerr and Herbert Archer produced these images.

9The marketing strategies invented after the war very rapidly evolved and refocused not on the individual but on the family (Chalfen 1987). J. Walter Thompson, an advertising agency in charge of Kodak's strategy, also developed a visual rhetoric based on partnerships with television series that portrayed the family – such as The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, a sitcom that started airing on ABC in 1952 – or with Walt Disney, at a time when colour television was beginning to find its way into family homes. Kodak thus became a partner of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, which was first broadcast in colour in 1961. As stated by the historian of photography, Francois Cheval, the family staged in the Coloramas is “white, of English-American origin, the foundation of the new consumerist and traditionalist middle class convinced of the benefits of liberalism” (Cheval 2015: 16). This idealised family was shown at different occasions that reflect key moments in American history: Thanksgiving, Halloween, Memorial Day. At the peak of Colorama, in the 1970s and 1980s, the photographic representation of advertising was, of course, the subject of many critical works. Here, I am thinking in particular of Erving Goffman’s iconographic analyses (Goffman 1979, 1987) or the essay on photography written by Susan Sontag, who introduces a very accurate relationship between family and photography: “Through photographs, each family constructs a portrait-chronicle of itself—a portable kit of images that bears witness to its connectedness.” (Sontag 1973, 2005: 5). However, although the united family is affirmed here through photography, Sontag specifies that this unity “becomes a rite of family life just when, in the industrializing countries of Europe and America, the very institution of the family starts undergoing radical surgery” (Ibidem: 6). Photography “came along to memorialize, to restate symbolically, the imperilled continuity and vanishing extendedness of family life”, for example, by ensuring “the token presence of the dispersed relatives” (Ibidem). This poster family is also the one presented by Don Draper in the last episode of the first season of Mad Men. Don Draper, a creative director, presents to his clients – two Kodak representatives – an advertising campaign for “the Wheel”, a new slide show device that the agency suggests renaming "The Carousel". This sequence is a reference to the history of Kodak, which actually introduced the Carousel in 1961:​watch?v=suRDUFpsHus.

10Draper bases his presentation on images of his own family, which the viewer knows is anything but a model of stability. Here, photography is meant to hold onto what remains, to allow its participants to freeze and remember moments past. Draper tells us that the Carousel is “a time machine. It goes backwards, forwards. It takes us to a place where we ache to go again. […] It lets us travel the way a child travels. Around and around, and back home again... to a place where we know we are loved.” (Mad Men, The Wheel, 2007, AMC).

11As Nancy Martha West noted, nostalgia has been part of Kodak's strategy for a long time, reminding us of the importance of the turning point that was the First World War, “when Americans […] desperately needed photographs to perform as confirmations of family unity” (West 2000: 13). West thus demonstrates that the culture of the photographic cliché was not so much conceived as a leisure activity than as “an obligatory act of preserving memories as defence against the future and as assurance of the past” (Ibidem). The representation of the family unit serves a particular social function, and, in some cases, it even ends up possessing a real stake in power. In an essay from 1979, Umberto Eco took this example of the family to illustrate the dissemination of power:

Never created by an arbitrary, top-level decision, power lives thanks to thousands of forms of minute or 'molecular' consensus. It takes thousands of fathers, mothers and children who recognize themselves in the family structure before a power can base itself on the family ethic as institution (Eco 1979, 1985: 255).

12This analysis, which combines power and dissemination, can help us see images produced by Kodak as consensual images. However, it also tells us more about the necessary stability of such representations. Diane Hope, the author of an essay on family representation within the Coloramas, notes that between 1950 and 1970 “no indication of the sociocultural changes occurring through those decades found reflection in Kodak portrayals” (Hope 2005: 92). It was not before 1967 that the first black model appeared in the Coloramas. In this sense, the Colorama, this idealised image of the family overwhelmed by consumer goods, lends itself perfectly to critical readings raised by various authors, and whose seminal model is certainly the mythological analysis developed by Roland Barthes (Barthes 1957). From Barthes to Sontag, from Erwin Goffman (Goffman 1979) to Umberto Eco: between the 1960s and 1980s, everyone gradually agrees on a definition of the image as an ideological construction. At the time when Kodak was deploying its last pictures in the late 1980s, the first programmes of visual studies were starting to emerge in the United States (Elkins 2013: 9), which contributed to the critical point of view on the surrounding images. However, this critical perspective had already made its way into people’s lives through a medium far removed from an audience beyond the art and literature faculties of universities: cinema.

Shot: a view of the west coast

13In 1988, two years before the last Colorama was displayed on the east coast, John Carpenter directed a film depicting images on the west coast in public space in Los Angeles. They Live tells the story of John Nada who arrives jobless in Los Angeles. One day, in a deserted church, Nada finds a mysterious box containing glasses. When worn, they allow the wearer to see the world in a different way: posters, magazines, signs and even bank notes all carry orders such as “Obey”, “Marry and reproduce” and “Do not question authority” (see​watch?v=JI8AMRbqY6w. Nada is thus able to see an environment that is designed to keep individuals under control, in a state of critical sleep, thereby revealing the sedative properties of images that appear in public space. The double reference to Aldous Huxley (for Soma, which plunges people into a paradisiacal sleep in Brave New World) and George Orwell (for the structuring character of language in 1984) is clear. It is also worth recalling that this film, released in 1988 during the Reagan years, can be read as a criticism of American conservative politics – a critique assumed as such by Carpenter himself. Just as 1950s science fiction films indirectly targeted the Soviet threat, They Live is assumed to be an accusation of a class enemy. The ruling aliens in the film would be a metaphor for the rich; the images would be the symbolic instrument of domination.

14The first reading of this film presents it as a repetition of the criticism of images and advertising mentioned above. Nada's glasses are “ideological glasses” as noted by Slavoj Žižek, who devotes part of his The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology to an analysis of the film (Žižek and Fiennes 2012). However, Žižek asserts that this model differs from the way in which ideology is usually presented – as a veil, as something that obscures the gaze and the mind: in contrast to what the Marxist tradition suggests, the film would show us that ideology is constitutive of our relationship to the world. However, if we wish to put on Nada’s glasses to observe the Coloramas, I would like to make some optical corrections. Rather than considering that we need glasses to see differently, we should say that we always wear glasses because seeing without them is simply impossible. If Nada – which means “nothing” in Spanish – can embody, as Žižek says, this “pure subject, deprived of all substantial content” (Žižek and Fiennes 2012), what would remain to be seen in the eyes of such a subject? Our eyes, paraphrasing Ernst Gombrich on the subject of painting, are not new, they are prejudiced with what they observe and construct what they seize: “We can only recognize what we know.” (Gombrich 1972). The constructivist metaphor of the glasses is perhaps best justified by Nelson Goodman, who, in Languages of Art, had turned the gaze into a privileged place for the construction of the world:

The eye comes always ancient to its work, obsessed by its own past […] Not only how but what it sees is regulated by need and prejudice. It selects, rejects, organizes, discriminates, associates, classifies, analyses, constructs. It does not so much mirror as take and make; and what it takes and makes it sees not bare, as items without attributes, but as things, as food, as people, as enemies, as stars, as weapons. Nothing is seen nakedly or naked. (Goodman 1968: 8-9).

15John Nada makes us understand that the experience of the gaze in public space, through representation, is basically an experience of producing meaning. The glasses are a metaphor for our relationship to the world, our way of seeing and knowing the world, or, in other words, what we could also call a “paradigm” according to Thomas Kuhn (Kuhn 1962). They appear here – as a result of the many visual metaphors used in the history of philosophy – as a new image, or rather as what WJT Mitchell would categorise as “hyper-icons”, i.e., “images in a double sense, like Plato's cave or Locke's tabula rasa, in that they are themselves ‘scenes’ or sites of graphic image-production, as well as verbal or rhetorical images (metaphors, analogies, likenesses)” (Mitchell 1986: 162 and Mitchell 1994: 11-34).

Reverse shot: the surface and its metamorphoses

16To let the Coloramas be re-read by a critical object that is contemporary to them – John Nada’s glasses – can thus reveal the system of values that accompanies the deployment of the image in public space. This image is indeed a surface necessarily engaged in representation, that is to say constructed and perceived from a point of view that is situated in social space. What the glasses reveal is that the point of view by which the Coloramas are constructed – that of a white and heteropatriarchal America – tends to impose the point of view by which they are perceived. Maybe Carpenter attended a lecture given by Pierre Bourdieu in San Diego, a few kilometres south of Los Angeles, who clearly formulated this question two years before the release of his film. In this lecture, Bourdieu began by saying that “theory” comes from theorein, a Greek term which means “to see”, and then to recall that:

Sociology must include a sociology of the perception of the social world, that is, a sociology of the construction of visions of the world which themselves contribute to the construction of this world (Bourdieu 1986, 1989: 18).

17Such a programme is opposed to the universalist view of certain lines of thought, and, one might say, to the whole project of modern science, which tends to present the world without any point of view or according to the “point of view of Sirius”. Bourdieu thus recalls this very simple idea: “the vision that every agent has of the space depends on his or her position in that space” (Bourdieu 1986, 1989: 18). This question is, incidentally, fundamental throughout his entire work, and it allows the sociologist to explain the phenomena of consensus, or, in his words, the adjustment of structuring structures to structured structures.

If the social world tends to be perceived as evident and to be grasped […] in a doxic modality, this is because the dispositions of agents, their habitus that is, the mental structures through which they apprehend the social world, are essentially the product of the internalization of the structures of that world (Bourdieu 1986, 1989: 18).

18If experiencing the world may seem natural, it is because it does not proceed from direct contact with reality, but from a naturalization of the principles and frameworks – or glasses – through which this reality can be seen. Bourdieu also adds:

Legitimation of the social world is not, as some believe, the product of a deliberate and purposive action of propaganda or symbolic imposition; it results, rather, from the fact that agents apply to the objective structures of the social world structures of perception and appreciation which are issued out of these very structures and which tend to picture the world as evident (Bourdieu 1986, 1989: 21).

19The Coloramas are nothing but the literal expression of the adjustment between principles of vision and principles of division, that is, the expression of a world of common sense. They thus portray an ideal image of the family while prescribing the focal point by which this image is constructed as an image. They offer a vision of the world while naturalising the legitimate point of view by which it is established. The Kodak Coloramas are ideological images; however, they are unique in that they are stated as images to be constructed, which involve their authors-to-be in the scene itself. We do not see the image taken by these amateur photographers, we can only assume that it captures the essence of what we see in front of us minus one: the photographer. The consensual image in public space at the time of Colorama is an enormous surface that tends to occupy the whole space. In the 1980s, it is examined by the theory – theorein – which makes us “see” its subjective lines of construction, but it is also re-staged by fiction, which reminds us, using the model of Carpenter's dystopian film, of the contingency of the legitimate point of view, on the one hand, and the omnipresence of the surface of the images in public space, on the other.

20Today, display in public space has grown far beyond what the Colorama designers could have imagined. Cities are covered and infiltrated by increasingly larger surfaces. However, the device presented by Kodak in public space no longer makes sense. This disproportionately large surface has been downscaled to fit our smartphones, which seem to have made the excesses of the Coloramas obsolete. In their manifesto, Kruk and Van Der Velden explain that “communicative (active) surface, or screen, is classified by its capacity to reveal and open up doorways to virtual worlds” (Van der Velden and Kruk 2008: 7). Although there is still a matter of constructing a “world of common sense” through the image, this construction no longer requires the public exposure of the visual aspects of this world. It has moved to the very border of public and private, unexpectedly realizing Kodak’s wishes: not only to “photograph oneself” – as promised in 1954 in the manual of the Kodak Retinette, the first consumer device to be fitted with a timer – but also to be a part of this piece of the world that photography now enables us to possess. The photographer around whom Kodak had carefully built its Coloramas has now entered the very frame of a new type of image: the selfie. This movement also saw the east balcony, where the Colorama was once unfurled, transformed into an Apple Store in 2011. It is no longer the surface that is inserted into public space, but public space that enters the surface. Cities are captured not only by Google street view but also by amateur shots directly posted on social networks based around specific themes. The unfolding of the image no longer embraces the unique and enormous area of the surface as it appears in public space; it operates in the multiplicity of smaller but also more varied private surfaces. These surfaces, which are those of the computer screen, the tablet, the smartphone or the smart watch, are designed to maintain eye contact to embrace the multiplicity of the aspects of an individual’s life. This person is then never abandoned by the digital images, which constitute his /her new family. If, as Vinca Kruk and Daniel Van Der Velden argue “the multiplication of surface […] is the new reality of design” (Van der Velden and Kruk 2008: 3), these surfaces are, however, more modest. To grasp their importance, it is necessary to relate them to the quasi-continuous exposure time they offer en masse. The new reality of design is not the surface, it is the surface multiplied by the duration.

21Whereas Susan Sontag said in 1977, at the peak of the Coloramas, that “today everything exists to end in a photograph” (Sontag 1973, 2005: 19), it should be added that now everything exists to end on a screen. The adaptation of the photographs – and of all the forms of image we produce – to the new reality of the responsive web design, is illustrated in these diagrams that now prescribe the sizes to be respected to “adapt their content” to “any type of media” as to the various “social networks”. These schemes seem to employ a visual mode, i.e., directed to the gaze, to prolong the long history of the regulating traces – from the Vitruvian Man to the Modulor Man – that man has prescribed in the production of the ideal world as the world to be inhabited (Ertzscheid 2015). They also express the importance of the gaze in the standardization of this ideal today, and therefore the need to remember, as Bourdieu said, that our vision of space depends on our position in that space, and thus the way our point of view itself constructs this space (Bourdieu 1986, 1989: 18).

Construction, design, manufacturing

22Illustrated by the operation of reducing and disseminating the Coloramas in the individual screens of the Apple Store of Grand Central, the recent history of advertising images in public space invites us to recall the conditions under which the image could be considered a construction. Obviously, and as I recalled above with regard to WJT Mitchell, the image is constructed in the sense that its meaning depends on the multiple eyes of the community of its performers; however, the image is also constructed in a completely prosaic way: for Kodak, it is the product of a long-pondered and then carefully retouched shooting; it is embodied in a medium, assembled in multiple transparent horizontal strips to form a surface of 100 m². Equally, the digital image formed on the surface of the screens requires constant technological adjustments and complex design concepts at an impressive scale. In recent years, however, the term “constructed” no longer has the same extensive interpretation as that given to it by visual theory. The constructed image is thus also, and above all, the manipulated image. This manipulation is no longer denounced; it is now assumed as such. It is an integral part of the way in which the public itself grasps the truth of images. We no longer only film an interview; we film the cameraman who films the interview. What happens behind the scenes has now entered the stage. The Coloramas’ photographer, an exceptional punctum on the visual horizon of the 1960s, is now necessarily integrated into the image as a focal point that is no longer considered surprising. Advertising no longer hides the evidence of retouching, it offers it to the gaze as necessary elements of its construction, such as the Snickers advertisement from 2016 showing a deliberately retouched model – her navel is placed too high, part of her leg is missing, a disembodied hand rests on her right shoulder. This image is obviously aimed at a public for whom visual manipulation is a standard game, and who only half-believe the images.

23Frédéric Lambert succeeded in describing this relationship to believing:

In front of the image, we know that it imitates nature and that it translates our narratives. We hear it tell us some fabrication about the world and about ourselves. In addition, yet, faced with this double movement of a series of languages, those of the imitation of nature and those of mythography, we take the image as we want it to be: in the truth of its forms and in the evidence of its truth. This movement, this propensity to settle in the denial of its double language is, I believe, constitutive of any image. I know that it represents reality, that it is made of effects of reality, but I only see fire. I know that it reflects the myths and values of my society, but I only hear their truths (Lambert 2013: 89).

24The ambivalence of this relationship to images described as such is not unrelated to the generalization of recent notions of post-truth, or alternative facts, which accompany the spread of media images to the rhythm of social networks. However, although these notions may seem new, or at least seem to have recently gained power, they are set against an older backdrop, which image theorists have often expressed through the classical opposition between transparency and opacity. Of course, the image shows something absent, something that it takes the place of – i.e., its transitive dimension – but also, at the same time, shows itself for itself, as representing something, and this is its reflexive dimension. A whole tradition of studying the image as a representation insists on this double dimension of transparency and opacity (Marin 1989, Récanati 1979). Building on this story, André Gunthert recently suggested that contemporary representations are now governed by an “aesthetic of transparency” (Gunthert 2017), in which the device takes a back seat. Photography would have become the dominant paradigm, requiring images to function as proofs, reliable ways of grasping the different aspects of the world that they present to us in exaggerated realism to the detriment of any trace of mediation. It is, of course, possible to follow Gunthert, by observing the documentary obsession with media images he acknowledges; however, perhaps it is no longer a question of transparency alone as “the erasure of mediation”, but rather as an exposure of the device. The image does not allow its image status to disappear; now it always asserts itself as an image. This contemporary process is irony, or the metadiscourse, the process by which images are already presented as images, abandoning or defusing any recourse to any standard of correction to evaluate their truth – a notion that becomes consecutively irrelevant.

25The images produced by Kodak, whose ideological scope leaves no doubt, then appear as the precursors to the reflexivity of the images of our second modernity. They invite the photographer to enter the frame of the image, exposing their construction process as if to better defuse the criticisms to which they could be subjected. In doing so, they initiated a movement of constant discrepancy to which the media industries are now accustomed: recover criticism, make it its own and include it to more effectively neutralize any dialectical opposition to the power we continue to ascribe to images.

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Electronic reference

Vivien Philizot, Kodak’s Colorama and the Construction of the Gaze in Public SpaceArticulo - Journal of Urban Research [Online], 19 | 2019, Online since 04 February 2019, connection on 09 August 2022. URL:; DOI:

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About the author

Vivien Philizot

Vivien Philizot holds a PhD in Visual Arts and is a graphic designer. He teaches at the University of Strasbourg in Master's degree in design. His teaching and research fields concern the practice and theory of graphic design, visual identities, the epistemology of graphic design, notions of use and practice in the field of design and visual didactics. In November 2016, he defended a thesis entitled "La construction du champ visuel par le design graphique. Une épistémologie du regard." Contact:

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Creative Commons - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International - CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

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