Andrea Pinotti, Antonio Somaini, Visual culture

Translated from Italian by Sophie Burdet and Marine Aubry-Morici

Original title: Culture visuale. Immagini sguardi media deviceGiulio Einaudi editor, 2016)

A comprehensive inventory of studies on visual culture, from its origins in the history of art to the current perspectives opened up by new technologies, virtual reality and artificial intelligence. This book presents the fundamental concepts, main questions and new research perspectives of studies on “visual culture”.

After tracing the origins of this notion in the tradition of art history and in the theories of photography and cinema of the first decades of the 20th century, the book reconstructs the recent development, at the international level, of visual culture studies and some Bildwissenschaft. The following chapters offer essential tools for studying the technically determined, but also historically and socially situated dimension of images as forms of vision.

The examples analyzed come from very varied cultural contexts and historical periods and even concern virtual reality and augmented reality, new images produced by artificial intelligence and new vision machine.

Read an excerpt on the publisher’s website…

“By synthesizing contemporary debates on the nature and functions of the image produced by technical devices, Andrea Pinotti and Antonio Somaini extend the field of the visible to many uses of the image that are still largely unknown. Of a high didactic quality, visual culture can be read like a textbook. The book is above all rich in the synthesis of theoretical productions relating to the image in general, and to the moving image in particular. […]. As the reading progresses, however, it appears […] as an essay at the forefront of French-speaking research on new theories of the image produced by technical devices […]. visual culture thus proves to be a sum both retrospective and prospective on the contemporary mutations of the cultures of the image. [Sa parution] makes it possible to propose an ambitious program for a new generation concerned with a broader understanding of the socio-cultural phenomena surrounding the image. — Barnabas Sauvage, The life of ideas

Read the article: “Can we imagine the 21st century?”…

Andrea Pinotti is professor of aesthetics and image theory at the Università Statale in Milan, where he directs the ERC project “An-Icon” dedicated to the history and theory of immersive environments. Among his publications are the volumes Empathy. History of an idea from Plato to the post-human (Vrin, 2016) and Alla soglia dell’imagine. Da Narciso alla realtà virtuale (Einaudi, 2021).

Antonio Somaini is Professor of Theory of movie theaterof the media and some visual culture at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University. Among his main publications is the book Ejzenštejn. Il cinema, le arti, il montaggio (Einaudi, 2011), as well as the co-direction of the volumes Rethink the medium. Cinema and contemporary art (Les presses du réel 2022) and High and low definition images (Mimesis, 2021). He co-directs, with Emmanuel AlloaEmanuele Coccia and Emanuele Quinzthe collection Media/Theories at the Presses du Réel.

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Andrea Pinotti, Antonio Somaini, Visual culture


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