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some experiments, 1


A standard test piece, designed for simple tension or compression, as the case may be, is stressed along the side of the specimen to be examined (see coloured plate, Fig. 6). The standard, made to a uniform cross-section, presents a uniform colour under a given stress, so that by comparing the colour at any place in the specimen with that in the standard a fair idea of the stress is obtained. (p65)

Fig. 6, H. E. Lance Martin, Some experiments with reinforced materials examined by aid of plane polarised light. Transactions, Liverpool Engineering Society 36 (1915): 59-78 (discussion and correspondence continues through p98)

Wandering through these transactions, pausing now and then to examine their striking figures and plates, and even to read their elucidations and arguments, one wonders what exposure to images of this sort was had by abstract expressionists and their abstract predecessors.

Might one have drawn confidence — and even borrowed authority — from these images, whose meaning/significance was embedded  in scientific practice and protocols?

Do these — being the result of experimental, rule-guided procedures — constitute what might be called conceptual images?

4 November 2012
tags: colour; polarised light; Martin, H. E. Lance; stress; transactions