Art historians have long looked to letters to secure biographical details; clarify relationships between artists and patrons; and present artists as modern, self-aware individuals. This book takes a novel approach: focusing on Albrecht Dürer, Shira Brisman is the first to argue that the experience of writing, sending, and receiving letters shaped how he treated the work of art as an agent for communication.
In the early modern period, before the establishment of a reliable postal system, letters faced risks of interception and delay. During the Reformation, the printing press threatened to expose intimate exchanges and blur the line between public and private life. Exploring the complex travel patterns of sixteenth-century missives, Brisman explains how these issues of sending and receiving informed Dürer’s artistic practices. His success, she contends, was due in large part to his development of pictorial strategies—an epistolary mode of address—marked by a direct, intimate appeal to the viewer, an appeal that also acknowledged the distance and delay that defers the message before it can reach its recipient. As images, often in the form of prints, coursed through an open market, and artists lost direct control over the sale and reception of their work, Germany’s chief printmaker navigated the new terrain by creating in his images a balance between legibility and concealment, intimacy and public address.
Body Parts of Empire is a study of abjection in American visual culture and popular literature from the Philippine-American War (1899–1902). During this period, the American national territory expanded beyond its continental borders to islands in the Pacific and the Caribbean. Simultaneously, new technologies of vision emerged for imagining the human body, including the moving camera, stereoscopes, and more efficient print technologies for mass media.
Rather than focusing on canonical American authors who wrote at the time of U.S. imperialism, this book examines abject texts—images of naked savages, corpses, clothed native elites, and uniformed American soldiers—as well as bodies of writing that document the goodwill and violence of American expansion in the Philippine colony. Contributing to the fields of American studies, Asian American studies, and gender studies, the book analyzes the actual archive of the Philippine-American War and how the racialization and sexualization of the Filipino colonial native have always been part of the cultures of America and U.S. imperialism. By focusing on the Filipino native as an abject body of the American imperial imaginary, this study offers a historical materialist optic for reading the cultures of Filipino America.
The phrase “War on Terror” has quietly been retired from official usage, but it persists in the American psyche, and our understanding of it is hardly complete. Nor will it be, W. J. T Mitchell argues, without a grasp of the images that it spawned, and that spawned it.
Exploring the role of verbal and visual images in the War on Terror, Mitchell finds a conflict whose shaky metaphoric and imaginary conception has created its own reality. At the same time, Mitchell locates in the concept of clones and cloning an anxiety about new forms of image-making that has amplified the political effects of the War on Terror. Cloning and terror, he argues, share an uncanny structural resemblance, shuttling back and forth between imaginary and real, metaphoric and literal manifestations. In Mitchell’s startling analysis, cloning terror emerges as the inevitable metaphor for the way in which the War on Terror has not only helped recruit more fighters to the jihadist cause but undermined the American constitution with “faith-based” foreign and domestic policies.
Bringing together the hooded prisoners of Abu Ghraib with the cloned stormtroopers of the Star Wars saga, Mitchell draws attention to the figures of faceless anonymity that stalk the ever-shifting and unlocatable “fronts” of the War on Terror. A striking new investigation of the role of images from our foremost scholar of iconology, Cloning Terror will expand our understanding of the visual legacy of a new kind of war and reframe our understanding of contemporary biopower and biopolitics.
In the nineties, neoliberalism simultaneously provided the context for the Internet’s rapid uptake in the United States and discouraged public conversations about racial politics. At the same time many scholars lauded the widespread use of text-driven interfaces as a solution to the problem of racial intolerance. Today’s online world is witnessing text-driven interfaces such as e-mail and instant messaging giving way to far more visually intensive and commercially driven media forms that not only reveal but showcase people’s racial, ethnic, and gender identity.
Lisa Nakamura, a leading scholar in the examination of race in digital media, uses case studies of popular yet rarely examined uses of the Internet such as pregnancy Web sites, instant messaging, and online petitions and quizzes to look at the emergence of race-, ethnic-, and gender-identified visual cultures.
While popular media such as Hollywood cinema continue to depict nonwhite nonmales as passive audiences or consumers of digital media rather than as producers, Nakamura argues the contrary—with examples ranging from Jennifer Lopez music videos; films including the Matrix trilogy, Gattaca, and Minority Report; and online joke sites—that users of color and women use the Internet to vigorously articulate their own types of virtual community, avatar bodies, and racial politics.
Lisa Nakamura is associate professor of speech communication and Asian American studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is the author of Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet and coeditor, with Beth Kolko and Gilbert Rodman, of Race in Cyberspace.
The creation and processing of visual representations in the life sciences is a critical but often overlooked aspect of scientific pedagogy. The Educated Eye follows the nineteenth-century embrace of the visible in new spectatoria, or demonstration halls, through the twentieth-century cinematic explorations of microscopic realms and simulations of surgery in virtual reality. With essays on Doc Edgerton’s stroboscopic techniques that froze time and Eames’s visualization of scale in Powers of Ten, among others, contributors ask how we are taught to see the unseen.
In Grammars of Approach, Cynthia Wall offers a close look at changes in perspective in spatial design, language, and narrative across the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries that involve, literally and psychologically, the concept of “approach.” In architecture, the term “approach” changed in that period from a verb to a noun, coming to denote the drive from the lodge at the entrance of an estate “through the most interesting part of the grounds,” as landscape designer Humphrey Repton put it. The shift from the long straight avenue to the winding approach, Wall shows, swung the perceptual balance away from the great house onto the personal experience of the visitor. At the same time, the grammatical and typographical landscape was shifting in tandem, away from objects and Things (and capitalized common Nouns) to the spaces in between, like punctuation and the “lesser parts of speech”. The implications for narrative included new patterns of syntactical architecture and the phenomenon of free indirect discourse. Wall examines the work of landscape theorists such as Repton, John Claudius Loudon, and Thomas Whately alongside travel narratives, topographical views, printers’ manuals, dictionaries, encyclopedias, grammars, and the novels of Defoe, Richardson, Burney, Radcliffe, and Austen to reveal a new landscaping across disciplines—new grammars of approach in ways of perceiving and representing the world in both word and image.
Almost thirty years ago, W. J. T. Mitchell’s Iconology helped launch the interdisciplinary study of visual media, now a central feature of the humanities. Along with his subsequent Picture Theory and What Do Pictures Want?, Mitchell’s now-classic work introduced such ideas as the pictorial turn, the image/picture distinction, the metapicture, and the biopicture. These key concepts imply an approach to images as true objects of investigation—an “image science.”
Continuing with this influential line of thought, Image Science gathers Mitchell’s most recent essays on media aesthetics, visual culture, and artistic symbolism. The chapters delve into such topics as the physics and biology of images, digital photography and realism, architecture and new media, and the occupation of space in contemporary popular uprisings. The book looks both backward at the emergence of iconology as a field and forward toward what might be possible if image science can indeed approach pictures the same way that empirical sciences approach natural phenomena.
Essential for those involved with any aspect of visual media, Image Science is a brilliant call for a method of studying images that overcomes the “two-culture split” between the natural and human sciences.
After 1850, Americans swarmed to take in a raft of new illustrated journals and papers. Engravings and drawings of "buckskinned braves" and "Indian princesses" proved an immensely popular attraction for consumers of publications like Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper and Harper's Weekly . In Indians Illustrated , John M. Coward charts a social and cultural history of Native American illustrations--romantic, violent, racist, peaceful, and otherwise--in the heyday of the American pictorial press. These woodblock engravings and ink drawings placed Native Americans into categories that drew from venerable "good" Indian and "bad" Indian stereotypes already threaded through the culture. Coward's examples show how the genre cemented white ideas about how Indians should look and behave--ideas that diminished Native Americans' cultural values and political influence. His powerful analysis of themes and visual tropes unlocks the racial codes and visual cues that whites used to represent--and marginalize--native cultures already engaged in a twilight struggle against inexorable westward expansion.
Indigenous Graphic Communication Systems challenges the adequacy of Western academic views on what writing is and explores how they can be expanded by analyzing the sophisticated graphic communication systems found in Central Mesoamerica and Andean South America.
By examining case studies from across the Americas, the authors pursue an enhanced understanding of Native American graphic communication systems and how the study of graphic expression can provide insight into ancient cultures and societies, expressed in indigenous words. Focusing on examples from Central Mexico and the Andes, the authors explore the overlap among writing, graphic expression, and orality in indigenous societies, inviting reevaluation of the Western notion that writing exists only to record language (the spoken chain of speech) as well as accepted beliefs of Western alphabetized societies about the accuracy, durability, and unambiguous nature of their own alphabetized texts. The volume also addresses the rapidly growing field of semasiography and relocates it more productively as one of several underlying operating principles in graphic communication systems.
Indigenous Graphic Communication Systems reports new results and insights into the meaning of the rich and varied content of indigenous American graphic expression and culture as well as into the societies and cultures that produce them. It will be of great interest to Mesoamericanists, students, and scholars of anthropology, archaeology, art history, ancient writing systems, and comparative world history.
The research for and publication of this book have been supported in part by the National Science Centre of Poland (decision no. NCN-KR-0011/122/13) and the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
Angélica Baena Ramírez, Christiane Clados, Danièle Dehouve, Stanisław Iwaniszewski, Michel R. Oudijk, Katarzyna Szoblik, Loïc Vauzelle, Gordon Whittaker, Janusz Z. Wołoszyn, David Charles Wright-Carr
The construction of memory entails a battle not only between memory and forgetting but also between different memories. There are multiple constructions of memory, and in the dispute between them, some become hegemonic, while others remain in the margins. Ana Forcinito explores the intermittences of transitional justice and memory in post-dictatorship Uruguay. The processes of building memory and transitional justice are repetitive but inconstant. They are contested by both internal and external forces and shaped by tensions between oblivion and silence. Forcinito explores models of reconciliation to present an alternative narrative of the past and to expose the blind spots of memory.
Light Image Imagination
Edited by Martha Blassnigg Amsterdam University Press, 2013 Library of Congress HD7164.5.T72 2012
The essays in this collection consider the creation, perception, and projection of images, both mental and material, and their specific relationship with light and imagination. With contributions from scholars working at the interdisciplinary intersections of art, science, and the humanities, Light Image Imagination extends disciplinary boundaries in order to amplify and enrich the current thinking about mediated images. The unique layout of the book, which juxtaposes text and image essays, is intended to stimulate dialogue and associative connections.
Multimodal Composing provides strategies for writing center directors and consultants working with writers whose texts are visual, technological, creative, and performative—texts they may be unaccustomed to reading, producing, or tutoring. This book is a focused conversation on how rhetorical, design, and multimodal principles inform consultation strategies, especially when working with genres that are less familiar or traditional.
Multimodal Composing explores the relationship between rhetorical choices, design thinking, accessibility, and technological awareness in the writing center. Each chapter deepens consultants’ understanding of multimodal composing by introducing them to important features and practices in a variety of multimodal texts. The chapters’ activities provide consultants with an experience that familiarizes them with design thinking and multimodal projects, and a companion website (www.multimodalwritingcenter.org) offers access to additional resources that are difficult to reproduce in print (and includes updated links to resources and tools).
Multimodal projects are becoming the norm across disciplines, and writers expect consultants to have a working knowledge of how to answer their questions. Multimodal Composing introduces consultants to key elements in design, technology, audio, and visual media and explains how these elements relate to the rhetorical and expressive nature of written, visual, and spoken communication. Peer, graduate student, professional tutors and writing center directors will benefit from the activities and strategies presented in this guide.
Patrick Anderson, Shawn Apostel, Jarrod Barben, Brandy Ball Blake, Sarah Blazer, Brenta Blevins, Russell Carpenter, Florence Davies, Kate Flom Derrick, Lauri Dietz, Clint Gardner, Karen J. Head, Alyse Knorr, Jarret Krone, Sohui Lee, Joe McCormick, Courtnie Morin, Alice Johnston Myatt, Molly Schoen, James C. W. Truman
In No Caption Needed, Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites provide the definitive study of the iconic photograph as a dynamic form of public art. Their critical analyses of nine individual icons explore the photographs themselves and their subsequent circulation through an astonishing array of media, including stamps, posters, billboards, editorial cartoons, TV shows, Web pages, tattoos, and more. Iconic images are revealed as models of visual eloquence, signposts for collective memory, means of persuasion across the political spectrum, and a crucial resource for critical reflection.
Arguing against the conventional belief that visual images short-circuit rational deliberation and radical critique, Hariman and Lucaites make a bold case for the value of visual imagery in a liberal-democratic society. No Caption Needed is a compelling demonstration of photojournalism’s vital contribution to public life.
National parks are the places that present ideas of nature to Americans: Zion, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone bring to mind quintessential and awe-inspiring wilderness. By examining how rhetoric—particularly visual rhetoric—has worked to shape our views of nature and the “natural” place of humans, Observation Points offers insights into questions of representation, including the formation of national identity.
As Thomas Patin reveals, the term “nature” is artificial and unstable, in need of constant maintenance and reconstruction. The process of stabilizing its representation, he notes, is unavoidably political. America’s national parks and monuments show how visual rhetoric operates to naturalize and stabilize representations of the environment. As contributors demonstrate, visual rhetoric is often transparent, structuring experience while remaining hidden in plain sight. Scenic overlooks and turnouts frame views for tourists. Visitor centers, with their display cases and photographs and orientation films, provide their own points of view—literally and figuratively. Guidebooks, brochures, and other publications present still other ways of seeing. At the same time, images of America’s “natural” world have long been employed for nationalist and capitalist ends, linking expansionism with American greatness and the “natural” triumph of European Americans over Native Americans.
The essays collected here cover a wide array of subjects, including park architecture, landscape painting, public ceremonies, and techniques of display. Contributors are from an equally broad range of disciplines—art history, geography, museum studies, political science, American studies, and many other fields. Together they advance a provocative new visual genealogy of representation.
Contributors: Robert M. Bednar, Southwestern U, Georgetown, Texas; Teresa Bergman, U of the Pacific; Albert Boime, UCLA; William Chaloupka, Colorado State U; Gregory Clark, Brigham Young U; Stephen Germic, Rocky Mountain College; Gareth John, St. Cloud State U, Minnesota; Mark Neumann, Northern Arizona U; Peter Peters, Maastricht U; Cindy Spurlock, Appalachian State U; David A. Tschida, U of Wisconsin, Eau Claire; Sabine Wilke, U of Washington.
What meaning does the American public attach to images of key black political, social, and cultural figures? Considering photography’s role as a means of documenting historical progress, what is the representational currency of these images? How do racial icons “signify”?
Nicole R. Fleetwood’s answers to these questions will change the way you think about the next photograph that you see depicting a racial event, black celebrity, or public figure. In On Racial Icons, Fleetwood focuses a sustained look on photography in documenting black public life, exploring the ways in which iconic images function as celebrations of national and racial progress at times or as a gauge of collective racial wounds in moments of crisis.
Offering an overview of photography’s ability to capture shifting race relations, Fleetwood spotlights in each chapter a different set of iconic images in key sectors of public life. She considers flash points of racialized violence in photographs of Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till; the political, aesthetic, and cultural shifts marked by the rise of pop stars such as Diana Ross; and the power and precarity of such black sports icons as Serena Williams and LeBron James; and she does not miss Barack Obama and his family along the way. On Racial Icons is an eye-opener in every sense of the phrase.
Opera and its Voices in Utah
Walter Rudolph Utah State University Press, 2018 Library of Congress F1219.3.W94I54 2018 | Dewey Decimal 972.01
In volume 23 of the Arrington Lecture Series, Walter B. Rudolph explores Utah’s operatic history. There is no other written history of opera in Utah and while references are random, they can be consistently found. The list of visiting operatic artists to the Beehive state is imposing, even extraordinary, and equally unexpected is the diversity of standard repertoire and those works unique to, or composed about, Utah. In turn, Utah’s operatic assets have given to the world’s arsenal of singers and created an audience of unique proportions.
The Arrington Lecture series, established by one of the twentieth-century West's most distinguished historians, Leonard Arrington, has become a leading forum for prominent historians to address topics related to Mormon history. Utah State University hosts the Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture Series through the Merrill-Cazier Library Special Collections and Archives department.
Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China is not simply a survey of sixteenth-century images, but rather, a thorough and thoughtful examination of visual culture in China's Ming Dynasty, one that considers images wherever they appeared—not only paintings, but also illustrated books, maps, ceramic bowls, lacquered boxes, painted fans, and even clothing and tomb pictures.
Clunas's theory of visuality incorporates not only the image and the object upon which it is placed but also the culture which produced and purchased it. Economic changes in sixteenth-century China—the rapid expansion of trade routes and a growing class of consumers—are thus intricately bound up with the evolution of the image itself. Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China will be a touchstone for students of Chinese history, art, and culture.
In The Politics of the Superficial: Visual Rhetoric and the Protocol of Display, Brett Ommen explores the increasing reliance on images as a mode of communication in contemporary life. He shows that graphic design is a layered experience of images and space. Before images, viewers engage in the personal experience of aesthetics and individual identity. In space, viewers engage in the negotiation of meaning and collective belonging. Graphic design, then, fits the consumerist present precisely because it prompts viewers to differentiate between our collective commitments and individual sense of self.
Ommen argues, for example, that on viewing a billboard, a driver isn’t merely being exposed to a set of commercial messages or exhortations, but rather responding in a self-aware way that differentiates her from her collective associations like Democrat, Republican, rich, poor, Catholic, or Jewish.
By examining graphic design—as a profession, practice, and academic field—as the nexus for understanding visual display in public culture, The Politics of the Superficial develops two arguments about contemporary visual communication practices: first, that the study of visual communication privileges visual content at the expense of other dynamics, such as context; and second, that interpretations focusing on content conceal the most persuasive and subversive dimensions of the visual.
Wide-ranging and stimulating, The Politics of the Superficial ultimately posits that, far from serving as a communal oasis for public imagination, contemporary visual culture offers the possibility for politically engaged communication and persuasion while simultaneously threatening the health of public discourse by atomizing its constituent parts. It will serve as a vital contribution to the field of visual rhetoric.
Even as the media environment has changed dramatically in recent years, one thing at least remains true: photographs are everywhere. From professional news photos to smartphone selfies, images have become part of the fabric of modern life. And that may be the problem. Even as photography bears witness, it provokes anxieties about fraudulent representation; even as it evokes compassion, it prompts anxieties about excessive exposure. Parents and pundits alike worry about the unprecedented media saturation that transforms society into an image world. And yet a great news photo can still stop us in our tracks, and the ever-expanding photographic archive documents an era of continuous change.
By confronting these conflicted reactions to photography, Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites make the case for a fundamental shift in understanding photography and public culture. In place of suspicions about the medium’s capacity for distraction, deception, and manipulation, they suggest how it can provide resources for democratic communication and thoughtful reflection about contemporary social problems.
The key to living well in the image world is to unlock photography from viewing habits that inhibit robust civic spectatorship. Through insightful interpretations of dozens of news images, The Public Image reveals how the artistry of the still image can inform, challenge, and guide reflection regarding endemic violence, environmental degradation, income inequity, and other chronic problems that will define the twenty-first century.
By shifting from conventional suspicions to a renewed encounter with the image, we are challenged to see more deeply on behalf of a richer life for all, and to acknowledge our obligations as spectators who are, crucially, also citizens.
In this lively critical analysis, Diane Barthel reveals the previously overlooked and underestimated depth of cultural meaning behind contemporary American advertising. Focusing mainly on ads for beauty products directed at women, she demonstrates how stereotypical gender identities are emphasized and how advertising itself creates a gendered relationship with the consumer. She explores psychological, sociological, and cultural messages in advertising to show how Putting on Appearances is anything but a purely personal matter, and how the social realities in which we are forced to live are conditioned by the personal appearances we choose to create.
Most advertisements are not sexually obvious, but rely instead on sexual story-telling in which seduction, deception, and passion are portrayed as acceptable means for achieving selfhood. Advertisements that proclaim, "Now is the time to paint your knees" speak with one form of authority: those that present the voice of the all-knowing scientist or the nurturing mother rely on others. Celebrities figure as professional beauties and wise older sisters, sharing their secrets with the consumer. "The Gentle Treatment Great Model Search Made Me a Star. Now it’s your turn."
Inseparable from the clothes we wear and the products we use are our ideas and fantasies about our bodies. Beauty products present beauty rituals as transcendent occasions, and diet products call up religious imagery of guilt and salvation. The body itself is to be anxiously manipulated and systematically worked over until the consumer "turns her body into...an advertisement for herself, a complicated sign to be read and admired."
In the series Women in the Political Economy, edited by Ronnie J. Steinberg.
Imagine a common movie scene: a hero confronts a villain. Captioning such a moment would at first glance seem as basic as transcribing the dialogue. But consider the choices involved: How do you convey the sarcasm in a comeback? Do you include a henchman’s muttering in the background? Does the villain emit a scream, a grunt, or a howl as he goes down? And how do you note a gunshot without spoiling the scene?
These are the choices closed captioners face every day. Captioners must decide whether and how to describe background noises, accents, laughter, musical cues, and even silences. When captioners describe a sound—or choose to ignore it—they are applying their own subjective interpretations to otherwise objective noises, creating meaning that does not necessarily exist in the soundtrack or the script.
Reading Sounds looks at closed-captioning as a potent source of meaning in rhetorical analysis. Through nine engrossing chapters, Sean Zdenek demonstrates how the choices captioners make affect the way deaf and hard of hearing viewers experience media. He draws on hundreds of real-life examples, as well as interviews with both professional captioners and regular viewers of closed captioning. Zdenek’s analysis is an engrossing look at how we make the audible visible, one that proves that better standards for closed captioning create a better entertainment experience for all viewers.
In Reading the Figural, or, Philosophy after the New Media D. N. Rodowick applies the concept of “the figural” to a variety of philosophical and aesthetic issues. Inspired by the aesthetic philosophy of Jean-François Lyotard, the figural defines a semiotic regime where the distinction between linguistic and plastic representation breaks down. This opposition, which has been the philosophical foundation of aesthetics since the eighteenth century, has been explicitly challenged by the new electronic, televisual, and digital media. Rodowick—one of the foremost film theorists writing today—contemplates this challenge, describing and critiquing the new regime of signs and new ways of thinking that such media have inaugurated. To fully comprehend the emergence of the figural requires a genealogical critique of the aesthetic, Rodowick claims. Seeking allies in this effort to deconstruct the opposition of word and image and to create new concepts for comprehending the figural, he journeys through a range of philosophical writings: Thierry Kuntzel and Marie-Claire Ropars-Wuilleumier on film theory; Jacques Derrida on the deconstruction of the aesthetic; Siegfried Kracauer and Walter Benjamin on the historical image as a utopian force in photography and film; and Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault on the emergence of the figural as both a semiotic regime and a new stratagem of power coincident with the appearance of digital phenomena and of societies of control. Scholars of philosophy, film theory, cultural criticism, new media, and art history will be interested in the original and sophisticated insights found in this book.
In The Right to Look, Nicholas Mirzoeff develops a comparative decolonial framework for visual culture studies, the field that he helped to create and shape. Casting modernity as an ongoing contest between visuality and countervisuality, or “the right to look,” he explains how visuality sutures authority to power and renders the association natural. An early-nineteenth-century concept, meaning the visualization of history, visuality has been central to the legitimization of Western hegemony. Mirzoeff identifies three “complexes of visuality”—plantation slavery, imperialism, and the present-day military-industrial complex—and explains how, within each, power is made to seem self-evident through techniques of classification, separation, and aestheticization. At the same time, he shows how each complex of visuality has been countered—by the enslaved, the colonized, and opponents of war, all of whom assert autonomy from authority by claiming the right to look. Encompassing the Caribbean plantation and the Haitian revolution, anticolonialism in the South Pacific, antifascism in Italy and Algeria, and the contemporary global counterinsurgency, The Right to Look is a work of astonishing geographic, temporal, and conceptual reach.
American environmentalism is defined by its icons: the “Crying Indian,” who shed a tear in response to litter and pollution; the cooling towers of Three Mile Island, site of a notorious nuclear accident; the sorrowful spectacle of oil-soaked wildlife following the ExxonValdez spill; and, more recently, Al Gore delivering his global warming slide show in An Inconvenient Truth. These images, and others like them, have helped make environmental consciousness central to American public culture. Yet most historical accounts ignore the crucial role images have played in the making of popular environmentalism, let alone the ways that they have obscured other environmental truths.
Finis Dunaway closes that gap with Seeing Green. Considering a wide array of images—including pictures in popular magazines, television news, advertisements, cartoons, films, and political posters—he shows how popular environmentalism has been entwined with mass media spectacles of crisis. Beginning with radioactive fallout and pesticides during the 1960s and ending with global warming today, he focuses on key moments in which media images provoked environmental anxiety but also prescribed limited forms of action. Moreover, he shows how the media have blamed individual consumers for environmental degradation and thus deflected attention from corporate and government responsibility. Ultimately, Dunaway argues, iconic images have impeded efforts to realize—or even imagine—sustainable visions of the future.
Generously illustrated, this innovative book will appeal to anyone interested in the history of environmentalism or in the power of the media to shape our politics and public life.
Why are diagrams sometimes so useful, facilitating our understanding and thinking, while at other times they can be unhelpful and even misleading? Drawing on a comprehensive survey of modern research in philosophy, logic, artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, and graphic design, Semantic Properties of Diagrams and Their Cognitive Potentials reveals the systematic reasons for this dichotomy, showing that the cognitive functions of diagrams are rooted in the characteristic ways they carry information. In analyzing the logical mechanisms behind the relative efficacy of diagrammatic representation, Atsushi Shimojima provides deep insight into the crucial question: What makes a diagram a diagram?
From charts, texts, and graphs to illustrations, icons, and screens, we live in an information age saturated with visual language. Yet the underlying principles that provide structure for visual language have long eluded scholars of rhetoric, design, and engineering. To function as a language that reliably conveys meaning, visual language must embody codes that normalize its practices among both the designers who employ it and the readers who interpret it.
In this wide-ranging analysis, Charles Kostelnick and Michael Hassett demonstrate how visual language in professional communication—text design, data displays, illustrations—is shaped by conventional practices that are invented, codified, and modified by users in visual discourse communities. Drawing on rhetorical theory, design studies, and a broad array of historical and contemporary examples, Shaping Information: The Rhetoric of Visual Conventions explores the processes by which conventions evolve and proliferate and shows how conventions serve as the medium that designers use to shape, stabilize, and streamline visual information.
Kostelnick and Hassett extend contemporary theories that define rhetoric as a social act, arguing that visual conventions also thrive within discourse communities and are fragile forms that vary widely in their longevity and scope. Shaping Information: The Rhetoric of Visual Conventions is a thorough guide for scholars, teachers and practitioners of rhetoric and business and technical communication and for professionals in engineering, science, design, and business.
Winner of the 2016 CCCC Advancement of Knowledge Award and the 2016 CCCC Research Impact Award
In Still Life with Rhetoric, Laurie Gries forges connections among new materialism, actor network theory, and rhetoric to explore how images become rhetorically active in a digitally networked, global environment. Rather than study how an already-materialized “visual text” functions within a specific context, Gries investigates how images often circulate and transform across media, genre, and location at viral rates. A four-part case study of Shepard Fairey’s now iconic Obama Hope image elucidates how images reassemble collective life as they actualize in different versions, enter into various relations, and spark a firework of activity across the globe.
While intent on tracking the rhetorical life of a single, multiple image, Still Life with Rhetoric is most concerned with studying rhetoric in motion. To account for an image’s widespread circulation and emergent activities, Gries introduces iconographic tracking—a digital research method for tracing an image’s divergent rhetorical becomings. Yet Gries also articulates a dynamic set of theoretical principles for studying rhetoric as a distributed, generative, and unforeseeable event that is applicable beyond the study of visual rhetoric. With an eye toward futurity—the strands of time beyond a thing’s initial moment of production and delivery—Still Life with Rhetoric intends to be taken up by those interested in visual rhetoric, research methods, and theory.
In the second half of the Weimar period (1918–33), photographers produced books consisting almost entirely of sequenced images. The subjects ranged widely: from plants and nature to the modern metropolis, from exotic cultures to the German Volk, from anonymous workers to historical figures. While many of the books were created by key practitioners and theorists of modern photography, scholars have rarely addressed the significance of the book format to modern conceptions of photographic meaning. The term “photo-essay” implies that these photographic books were equivalent to literary endeavors, created by replacing text with images, but such assumptions fail to explore the motivations of the books’ makers.
Stop Reading! Look! argues that Weimar photographic books stood at the center of debates about photography’s ability to provide uniquely visual forms of perception and cognition that exceed the capacity of the textual realm. Each chapter provides a sustained analysis of a photographic book, while also bringing the cultural, social, and political context of the Weimar Republic to bear on its relevance and meaning.
Technologies of History is an engrossing and innovative consideration of how history is constructed today, exploring our most basic relationship to history and the diverse contributions of visual and computational media to conceptions of the past. Embracing the varieties of history offered by experimental film, television, video games, and digital media, Steve F. Anderson mines the creative and discursive potential of this profane and esoteric historiography. He offers a highly readable and consistently fascinating discussion of historiography in visual media, with an emphasis on alternate or fantastic histories, including Star Trek time travel episodes, fake documentaries, films created from home movies and found footage, and video games about cultural traumas such as the siege at Waco and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Examining artifacts from the most commercial Hollywood product to the modernist avant-garde, this bold and ambitious polemic seeks to address historians, media scholars, and general readers alike, encouraging all to recognize, engage with, and perhaps even learn from these heterodox histories and the powerful sway they hold over our historical consciousness.
Caldwell, John T Rutgers University Press, 1995 Library of Congress PN1992.6.C22 1995 | Dewey Decimal 302.2345
“Holling is tormented by Koyaanisqatsi dreams until he goes out and does the wild thing with a young stag . . . . ”––Synopsis from production company “Bible,” Northern Exposure, March 30, 1992
The collision of auteurism and rap––couched by primetime producers in the Northern Exposure script––was actually rather commonplace by the early 1990s. Series, and even news broadcasts, regularly engineered their narratives around highly coded aesthetic and cultural fragments, with a kind of ensemble iconography. Televisuality interrogates the nature of such performances as an historical phenomenon, an aesthetic and industrial practice, and as a socially symbolic act. This book suggests that postmodernism does not fully explain television's stylistic exhibitionism and that a reexamination of “high theory” is in order. Caldwell’s unique approach successfully integrates production practice with theory in a way that will enlighten both critical theory and cultural studies.
Baer, Nicholas Rutgers University Press, 2019 Library of Congress B105.I47U59 2019 | Dewey Decimal 153.32
We all have images that we find unwatchable, whether for ethical, political, or sensory and affective reasons. From news coverage of terror attacks to viral videos of police brutality, and from graphic horror films to transgressive artworks, many of the images in our media culture might strike us as unsuitable for viewing. Yet what does it mean to proclaim something “unwatchable”: disturbing, revolting, poor, tedious, or literally inaccessible?
With over 50 original essays by leading scholars, artists, critics, and curators, this is the first book to trace the “unwatchable” across our contemporary media environment, in which viewers encounter difficult content on various screens and platforms. Appealing to a broad academic and general readership, the volume offers multidisciplinary approaches to the vast array of troubling images that circulate in global visual culture.
Exploring the concept and history of visual and graphic epistemologies, this engrossing collection of essays by artists, curators, and scholars provides keen insights into the many forms of connection between visibility and legibility. With more than 130 color and black-and-white photographs, Visible Writings sheds new light on the visual dimensions of writing as well as writing's interaction with images in ways that affect our experiences of reading and seeing.
Multicultural in character and historical in range, essays discuss pre-Colombian Mesoamerican scripts, inscriptions on ancient Greek vases, medieval illuminations, Renaissance prints, Enlightenment concepts of the legible, and the Western "reading" of Chinese ideograms. A rich array of modern forms, including comics, poster art, typographic signs, scribblings in writers' manuscripts, anthropomorphic statistical pictograms, the street writings of 9/11, intersections between poetry and painting, the use of color in literary texts, and the use of writing in visual art are also addressed.
Visible Writings reaches outside the traditional venues of literature and art history into topics that consider design, history of writing, philosophy of language, and the emerging area of visual studies. Marija Dalbello, Mary Shaw, and the other contributors offer both scholars and those with a more casual interest in literature and art the opportunity, simply stated, to see the writing on the wall.
In Visual Occupations Gil Z. Hochberg shows how the Israeli Occupation of Palestine is driven by the unequal access to visual rights, or the right to control what can be seen, how, and from which position. Israel maintains this unequal balance by erasing the history and denying the existence of Palestinians, and by carefully concealing its own militarization. Israeli surveillance of Palestinians, combined with the militarized gaze of Israeli soldiers at places like roadside checkpoints, also serve as tools of dominance. Hochberg analyzes various works by Palestinian and Israeli artists, among them Elia Suleiman, Rula Halawani, Sharif Waked, Ari Folman, and Larry Abramson, whose films, art, and photography challenge the inequity of visual rights by altering, queering, and manipulating dominant modes of representing the conflict. These artists' creation of new ways of seeing—such as the refusal of Palestinian filmmakers and photographers to show Palestinian suffering or the Israeli artists' exposure of state manipulated Israeli blindness —offers a crucial gateway, Hochberg suggests, for overcoming and undoing Israel's militarized dominance and political oppression of Palestinians.
In recent years, works by American Indian artists and filmmakers such as Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, Edgar Heap of Birds, Sherman Alexie, Shelley Niro, and Chris Eyre have illustrated the importance of visual culture as a means to mediate identity in contemporary Native America. This insightful collection of essays explores how identity is created and communicated through Native film-, video-, and art-making; what role these practices play in contemporary cultural revitalization; and how indigenous creators revisit media pasts and resignify dominant discourses through their work. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Visualities: Perspectives on Contemporary American Indian Film and Art draws on American Indian Studies, American Studies, Film Studies, Cultural Studies, Women’s Studies, and Postcolonial Studies. Among the artists examined are Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie, Eric Gansworth, Melanie Printup Hope, Jolene Rickard, and George Longfish. Films analyzed include Imprint, It Starts with a Whisper, Mohawk Girls, Skins, The Business of Fancydancing, and a selection of Native Latin films.
Why do we have such extraordinarily powerful responses toward the images and pictures we see in everyday life? Why do we behave as if pictures were alive, possessing the power to influence us, to demand things from us, to persuade us, seduce us, or even lead us astray?
According to W. J. T. Mitchell, we need to reckon with images not just as inert objects that convey meaning but as animated beings with desires, needs, appetites, demands, and drives of their own. What Do Pictures Want? explores this idea and highlights Mitchell's innovative and profoundly influential thinking on picture theory and the lives and loves of images. Ranging across the visual arts, literature, and mass media, Mitchell applies characteristically brilliant and wry analyses to Byzantine icons and cyberpunk films, racial stereotypes and public monuments, ancient idols and modern clones, offensive images and found objects, American photography and aboriginal painting. Opening new vistas in iconology and the emergent field of visual culture, he also considers the importance of Dolly the Sheep—who, as a clone, fulfills the ancient dream of creating a living image—and the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11, which, among other things, signifies a new and virulent form of iconoclasm.
What Do Pictures Want? offers an immensely rich and suggestive account of the interplay between the visible and the readable. A work by one of our leading theorists of visual representation, it will be a touchstone for art historians, literary critics, anthropologists, and philosophers alike.
“A treasury of episodes—generally overlooked by art history and visual studies—that turn on images that ‘walk by themselves’ and exert their own power over the living.”—Norman Bryson, Artforum
This is a book about a box that contained the world. The box was the Picture Academy for the Young, a popular encyclopedia in pictures invented by preacher-turned-publisher Johann Siegmund Stoy in eighteenth-century Germany. Children were expected to cut out the pictures from the Academy, glue them onto cards, and arrange those cards in ordered compartments—the whole world filed in a box of images.
As Anke te Heesen demonstrates, Stoy and his world in a box epitomized the Enlightenment concern with the creation and maintenance of an appropriate moral, intellectual, and social order. The box, and its images from nature, myth, and biblical history, were intended to teach children how to collect, store, and order knowledge. te Heesen compares the Academy with other aspects of Enlightenment material culture, such as commercial warehouses and natural history cabinets, to show how the kinds of collecting and ordering practices taught by the Academy shaped both the developing middle class in Germany and Enlightenment thought. The World in a Box, illustrated with a multitude of images of and from Stoy's Academy, offers a glimpse into a time when it was believed that knowledge could be contained and controlled.