Funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, CURIOSITAS (2022-2025) is a research project on Cosmorama exhibitions in Portugal and Spain during the 19th century that combines documentary and iconographic research with Virtual Reality, aiming to rescue the forgotten history of these first immersive media, reassess their cultural impact on other arts and peep media, and contribute to the current challenges on virtual heritage.
The Panorama was the most popular picture-going entertainment in the 19th Century. An extremely large canvas depicting a broad scene embraced the spectators in a circular rotunda, producing one of the earliest illusions of ‘virtual reality.’ Although this was mainly a 19th- century mass-culture phenomenon spread across the great European cities, the Panorama was later resumed, anachronistically, in the 20th- century World Fairs, namely in the Colonial Exhibitions, as a powerful means of persuasion and propaganda. CONGO-VR will photograph, study and re-interpret probably the most overlooked Belgian colonial media heritage item: the Panorama of Congo.
The Carlos Relvas Stereo Raisonné is the comprehensive catalogue of C. Relvas’s stereoscopic photography. Carlos Relvas (1838-1894) was the most renowned Portuguese photographer in the 19th century. This catalogue draws on an unprecedented research covering ten public and private collections of stereoscopic photography by Relvas which were, for the first time, digitized, catalogued and cross-referenced with their corresponding negatives. As a digital aggregator of physical collections scattered throughout Portugal and abroad, this catalogue offers a new perspective on the early years of Relvas’s photography and on the contribution of stereoscopy for the launch of his international career. Designed to offer an intuitive and multileveled research, it will take you on a journey to hundreds of ‘image families’ combining both negatives and prints, as well as stereoscopic and single-lens photographs.
The research project Stereo Visual Culture aims to characterize the visual culture of stereoscopy in Portugal based on its photographic images and the corresponding specialized discourses in the nineteenth century.