Myriorama: Obsolete Technologies for a Contemporary Scenographic Practice and Thought


This article reflects on some of the conceptual, spatial, and narrative possibilities of the use of the Myriorama game, and its pre-cinematic technology, in contemporary artistic and scenographic practices. To this end, it takes under consideration the language of visual essays, which has been increasingly explored by artists, photographers, and filmmakers who seem to share a desire to “show things as they are”. More specifically, this analysis will consider the visual essay Myriorama nº1 (2021) by scenographer Aurora dos Campos and the historical contextualization of the first Myriorama decks. This “card game” was created by Jean-Pierre Brès, in 1824, in France. At the time the game was meant to inspire artists, create stories for children, and entertain a certain European elite. It became popular during the 19th century, with different versions in England, Italy, Austria, Germany, and Greece, for instance, but fell, as it began, quickly into oblivion. It is a game of portable dimensions, composed of hand-colored scenes, with human and animal figures, buildings, country landscapes, and everyday situations, which when combined and recombined create various visual narratives. The study relates the Myriorama game with the philosophical concepts of perspectivism and pluralism enunciated by Friedrich Nietzsche (1997), such as the ideas about the limits of interpretation proposed by Umberto Eco (2004), as well as the concept of visual essay. It is thus intended to contribute to unveiling tensions between the multiplicity of possible landscape representations and their interpretative limits in contemporary artistic practices.

Author Information
Aurora dos Campos, Research Institute in Art, Design and Society (i2ADS), University of Porto, Portugal
Helder Gomes, School of Fine Arts, University of Porto, Portugal
Sofia Ponte, IADE - Universidade Europeia and Research Institute for Design, Media and Culture (ID+), Portugal

Paper Information
Conference: ECADE2022
Stream: Visual Arts Practices

This paper is part of the ECADE2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Campos A., Gomes H., & Ponte S. (2022) Myriorama: Obsolete Technologies for a Contemporary Scenographic Practice and Thought ISSN: 2758-0989 – The European Conference on Arts, Design & Education 2022 Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon