Introduction to Visual Culture / Edition 1

Introduction to Visual Culture / Edition 1

by Nicholas Mirzoeff
Pub. Date:
Taylor & Francis

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Introduction to Visual Culture / Edition 1

This is a wide-ranging and stimulating introduction to the history and theory of visual culture from painting to the computer and television screen. It will prove indispensable to students of art and art history as well as students of cultural studies.
Mirzoeff begins by defining what visual culture is, and explores how and why visual media - fine art, cinema, the Internet, advertising, performance, photography, television - have become so central to contemporary everyday life. He argues that the visual is replacing the linguistic as our primary means of communicating with each other and of understanding our postmodern world.
Part One of the Introduction presents a history of modern ways of seeing, including:
* the formal practices of line and colour in painting
* photographys claim to represent reality
* virtual reality, from the nineteenth century to the present.
In Part Two, Mirzoeff examines:
* the visualization of race, sexuality and human identity in culture
* gender and sexuality and questions of the gaze in visual culture
* representations of encounters with the other, from colonial narratives to Science Fiction texts such as The Thing, Independence Day, Star Trek and The X-Files
* the death of Princess Diana and the popular mourning which followed as marking the coming of age of a global visualized culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780415158763
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 07/28/1999
Edition description: ILLUSTRATE
Pages: 292
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.64(d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsix
Introduction: What is visual culture?1
Visual Power, Visual Pleasure9
Everyday Life26
Part 1Visuality35
1Picture definition: Line, color, vision37
Discipline and Color51
Normalizing Color: Color Blindness53
Light Over Color55
2The age of photography (1839-1982)65
The Death of Painting65
The Birth of the Democratic Image71
Death and Photography73
From Photo Noir to Post-Photography78
The Death of Photography88
3Virtuality: From virtual antiquity to the pixel zone91
Interfaces with Virtuality92
Virtuality Goes Global96
Virtual Reality101
Virtual Reality and Everyday Life104
Virtual Identity107
Net Life111
More Pixels Anyone?114
Virtual Bodies116
Part 2Culture127
4Transculture: From Kongo to the Congo129
Inventing the Heart of Darkness132
Resistance Through Ritual147
Cultural Memory153
New Visions from the Congo156
5Seeing sex162
Fetishizing the Gaze163
From Inversion to Opposites and Ambiguity167
Seeing Female Sex170
Mixing: the Cultural Politics of Race and Reproduction174
Queering the Gaze: Roger Casement's Eyes183
6First contact: From Independence Day to 1492 and Millennium193
Enter the Extraterrestials194
The Return of the Empire202
Aliens as Evil207
TV Past and Present222
Part 3Global/Local229
7Diana's death: Gender, photography and the inauguration of global visual culture231
Popularity and Cultural Studies232
Photography and the Princess235
Pictures in India237
The Celebrity Punctum240
Flags and Protocol: the Devil in the Detail244
Death and the Maiden: the Sign of New Britain247
Pixel Planet248

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