Synopses & Reviews
Almost thirty years ago, W. J. T. Mitchellandrsquo;sand#160;Iconology
and#160;helped launch the interdisciplinary study of visual media, now a central feature of the humanities. Along with his subsequentand#160;Picture Theory
and#160;andand#160;What Do Pictures Want?
, Mitchellandrsquo;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 investigationandmdash;an andldquo;image science.andrdquo;
Continuing with this influential line of thought,and#160;Image Scienceand#160;gathers Mitchellandrsquo;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,and#160;Image Scienceand#160;is a brilliant call for a method of studying images that overcomes the andldquo;two-culture splitandrdquo; between the natural and human sciences.
"It's clear that Jacques Ranciere is relighting the flame that was extinguished for many--that is why he serves as such a signal reference today."
Like all of Jacques Rancière’s texts, The Future of the Image is vertiginously precise.Ranciere's writings offer one of the few conceptualizations of how we are to continue to resist. --Slavoj Zizek
What we see here is Ranciere developing a unique voice as a political theorist.French philosopher Jacques Ranciere is a refreshing read for anyone concerned with what art has to do with politics and society.It's clear that Jacques Ranciere is relighting the flame that was extinguished for many--that is why he serves as such a signal reference today. --Thomas Hirschhorn
"Like all of Jacques Rancière's texts, The Future of the Image is vertiginously precise." Les Cahiers du Cinema
"Ranciere's writings offer one of the few conceptualizations of how we are to continue to resist." Slavoj Zizek
andldquo;Image Science adds another chapter to Mitchellandrsquo;s long and illustrious intervention in the disciplines of art history and visual studies. Mitchell argues persuasively for a science of the visual that straddles the humanities and the social and natural sciences, one that addresses not only objects but also their perception and role in human experience. This is an exciting and theoretically challenging collection.andrdquo;
andldquo;Image Science is fascinating and a wonderful account of a leading scholarandrsquo;s rich research. As always, Mitchellandrsquo;s writing is erudite, engaging, and challenging; his thinking mindful and provocative in equal measure; his arguments dazzling; his insights startling.andrdquo;
andldquo;Ranging widely across the new visual realities of science, art, cinema, and digital media, these essays are conceptually precise, politically engaged, and deeply reflective. They demonstrate why Mitchell has become Americaandrsquo;s leading philosopher of the image.andrdquo;
As genetic manipulation
comes to dominate medical science, a timely and trenchant history of eugenics.
How did the notions of "race" and "ethnic group," under the cover of scientific legitimacy, get used for political ends? This work retraces the history of biological conceptions of society and their racist and eugenicist applications from the end of the nineteenth century to the post-Second World War epoch. André Pichot analyzes the relationship between science, politics and ideology, through the examination of specific cases: from Nazism to the various eugenicist research programs launched or financed by eminent scientific organizations from the beginning of the twentieth century onwards. And, today, with the mapping of the human genome and rapid advances in gene therapies, he warns that the dream of a "pure society" is in danger of resurrection.
In The Future of the Image
, Jacques Rancière develops a fascinating new concept of the image in contemporary art, showing how art and politics have always been intrinsically intertwined. Covering a range of art movements, filmmakers such as Godard and Bresson, and thinkers such as Foucault, Deleuze, Adorno, Barthes, Lyotard and Greenberg, Rancière shows that contemporary theorists of the image are suffering from religious tendencies.
He argues that there is a stark political choice in art: it can either reinforce a radical democracy, or create a new reactionary mysticism. For Rancière there is never a pure art: the aesthetic revolution must always embrace egalitarian ideals.
A leading philosopher presents a radical manifesto for the future of art and film.
A series of gratifyingly knotty and close discussions of nineteenth and twentieth century literature, film and painting.
About the Author
Jacques Rancière is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris-VIII. His books include The Politics of Aesthetics, On the Shores of Politics, Short Voyages to the Land of the People, The Nights of Labor, Staging the People, and The Emancipated Spectator.Gregory Elliott is a member of the editorial collective of Radical Philosophy and author of Althusser: The Detour of Theory and Labourism and the English Genius: The Strange Decay of Labour England?.