Author(s): Nicholas Mirzoeff
Since the rise of the internet and personal computers, we have seen an exponential increase in the number of visual images around us. From YouTube to Instagram, video games to installation art, this dramatic visual transformation is liberating, confusing and worrying all at once. Nicholas Mirzoeff is a leading figure in the burgeoning field of visual culture, which aims to make sense of the images and artefacts all around us. In the first book to explain this fascinating and timely subject to the general reader, Mirzoeff draws on art history, theory and everyday experience to provide an engaging, approachable introduction to how visual materials shape our lives.
A dizzying and delightful book New Scientist Deploying a blend of semiotics, sociology, and art history, Mirzoeff shows us how to interpret everything from old masters to selfies, from Rashomon to a map of the Mississippi. Mirzoeff says he owes much of his approach to John Berger, and this is evident in the way he argues how inevitably political visual images are... Mirzoeff draws on theorists such as Benjamin, Foucault, and Deleuze, but thankfully is much clearer and easier to read than any of those writers Independent on Sunday In our fluid world, we need reminding how strange our visual culture has become. Artist John Berger did that job for the 1970s with his classic book Ways of Seeing; now Nicholas Mirzoeff teaches us how to "read" an astronaut's 2012 space-walk selfie - and how to decode military photos smothered with labels that claim to show weapons we cannot in fact see -- New Scientist 'Books of the Year'
Nicholas Mirzoeff is Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University. His book Watching Babylon, about the Iraq war as seen on TV and in film, was described by art historian Terry Smith as 'a tour de force by perhaps the most inventive - certainly the most wide-ranging - practitioner of visual culture analysis in the world today.'