How to See the World: An Introduction to Images, from Self-Portraits to Selfies, Maps to Movies, and More
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
In How to See the World, visual culture expert Nicholas Mirzoeff offers a sweeping look at history’s most famous images—from Velázquez’s Las Meninas to the iconic “Blue Marble”—to contextualize and make sense of today’s visual world. Drawing on art history, sociology, semiotics, and everyday experience, he teaches us how to close read everything from astronaut selfies to Impressionist self-portraits, from Hitchcock films to videos taken by drones. Mirzoeff takes us on a journey through visual revolutions in the arts and sciences, from new mapping techniques in the seventeenth century to new painting styles in the eighteenth and the creation of film, photography, and x-rays in the nineteenth century. In today’s networked world, mobile technology and social media enable us to exercise “visual activism”—the practice of producing and circulating images to drive political and social change. Whether we are looking at pictures showing the effects of climate change on natural and urban landscapes or an fMRI scan demonstrating neurological addiction, Mirzoeff helps us to find meaning in what we see.
A powerful and accessible introduction to this new visual culture, How to See the World reveals how images shape our lives, how we can harness their power for good, and why they matter to us all.
enhanced outside world image and project them together onto the helmet display visor, exactly overlaying the aircrew’s outside world view by means of a high speed helmet tracking system.9 With the pilot’s helmet-mounted display, the synthesis of human and machine becomes a practical reality. The pilots fly in a visualized information field, created by the very machine they are supposedly piloting. This screen-directed vision is the paradigm of visual culture in the computer age, just as the
India, and South Africa to China and the developed-world economies in a network of mining, production, and final use of energy and construction in global cities. This is the network we need to understand in order to think visually and see the changing world. When the Olympic Games were held in Beijing in 2008, there was tremendous concern in Western media and sports circles about the effects of air pollution. Some athletes arrived wearing face masks. It has recently been estimated that 750,000
representative. Rather, each of its ideas—and many more—became a slogan on someone’s sign. OWS refused to make demands on the grounds that this was an autonomous self-governing movement. Unlike Tahrir, which claimed to be Egypt as such, OWS declared New York City to be “occupied” for two months (September 17–November 13, 2011). This was not a military occupation but a takeover of the city by the people who are normally overlooked on Wall Street, such as the young, the unemployed, and the
often experienced during the recession in a way that the mainstream media would never allow. Its phrasing was far more common online, especially on Twitter. Both media scholar McKenzie Wark and philosopher Simon Critchley used the slogan as the title for their writing about Occupy. The anonymous author of the iconic sign clearly had art skills. The sign was made from canvas stretched over a frame, like a painting, and the artist’s calligraphy followed the rules of graphic design. OWS had many
Thorning-Schmidt took a selfie that included US president Barack Obama and UK prime minister David Cameron. Figure 7. Thorning-Schmidt, Obama, and Cameron taking a selfie While some commentators questioned the propriety of the moment, it marked a departure from the lifeless posed official photograph and a new investment in a popular format. The photograph of the selfie being taken was reprinted worldwide, although the selfie itself was not released to the media. Only a few weeks later, the