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Einblick, Eingriff und Eingliederung: Zur Metaphorik entgrenzter Körper in "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"


Tschachtli, Sarina (2011). Einblick, Eingriff und Eingliederung: Zur Metaphorik entgrenzter Körper in "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation". Figurationen: Gender - Literatur - Kultur:116-128.

Abstract

In the popular American television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, bodily boundaries do not hold up. Each episode of CSI opens with a corpse, and each corpse is inevitably opened in the course of the investigation. Bodies are cut open for autopsies and wounds are most closely examined, but most importantly, the series features a so-called ‚CSI-shot‘, visualizing the ultimately unseeable: with computer animation, the show uses magnification that goes beyond a microscopic gaze and can visually enter bodies, illustrating, for example, a bullet piercing an internal organ. The series’ extreme focus on the corporality of death is also closely linked to its positivist attitude towards forensics: „The evidence never lies“, the investigators never tire of saying, insisting on absolutes of truth and justice. Thus, despite its state of the computer art visuality, the series proves to be curiously anti-postmodern with its portrayal of science as an infallible way to truth. Rather, with both its penetrative gaze and its reliance on absolute values, the series is reminiscent of earlier scientific discourses. A yearning to gain insight (into bodies and minds) and a wish to know the inaccessible are also characteristics of eighteenth-century mentality, as are Enlightenment values of truth and justice. Thus, CSI’s progressive visual style, when analyzed in comparison with the visual strategies of the eighteenth-century sciences, shows a use of drastic bodily metaphors that are, in terms of cultural history, regressive.

Abstract

In the popular American television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, bodily boundaries do not hold up. Each episode of CSI opens with a corpse, and each corpse is inevitably opened in the course of the investigation. Bodies are cut open for autopsies and wounds are most closely examined, but most importantly, the series features a so-called ‚CSI-shot‘, visualizing the ultimately unseeable: with computer animation, the show uses magnification that goes beyond a microscopic gaze and can visually enter bodies, illustrating, for example, a bullet piercing an internal organ. The series’ extreme focus on the corporality of death is also closely linked to its positivist attitude towards forensics: „The evidence never lies“, the investigators never tire of saying, insisting on absolutes of truth and justice. Thus, despite its state of the computer art visuality, the series proves to be curiously anti-postmodern with its portrayal of science as an infallible way to truth. Rather, with both its penetrative gaze and its reliance on absolute values, the series is reminiscent of earlier scientific discourses. A yearning to gain insight (into bodies and minds) and a wish to know the inaccessible are also characteristics of eighteenth-century mentality, as are Enlightenment values of truth and justice. Thus, CSI’s progressive visual style, when analyzed in comparison with the visual strategies of the eighteenth-century sciences, shows a use of drastic bodily metaphors that are, in terms of cultural history, regressive.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of German Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:430 German & related languages
Language:German
Date:2011
Deposited On:11 Apr 2013 13:32
Last Modified:17 Feb 2018 15:52
Publisher:Boehlau Verlag GmbH & Cie
ISSN:1439-4367
OA Status:Green

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