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Representational Revolution:  the backcloth to an argument

Representational Revolution: the backcloth to an argument

‘Image making is often considered one
of the unique and quintessential competences
of Homo sapiens sapiens, differentiating
the subspecies, for example, from H. sapiens
neanderthalenis and from earlier hominds.’

From Whitney Davis’ paper ‘The Origins of Image Making’
[Davis, 1986, Jun., Vol. 27, No. 3, p. 193.]

The nineteenth-century is characterised by an energy for, and an enthusiasm about, the representational which has outstripped anything before, or indeed since, in its general range and basic inventiveness. During a handful of decades the representational was, to an unprecedented degree, mechanised, democratised, popularised, and humanised. For instance, the mechanisation of the representational is most readily pegged out between markers such as the discovery of photography in the 1830’s; the first recording of sound in 1877; and the invention of wireless and cinematography in the 1890’s.[i]

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Why We Should Take Advertisements Seriously

Why We Should Take Advertisements Seriously

Advertisements are important social and cultural documents. A representative sample often reflects a society’s concerns and values as accurately as well-executed surveys do. But how is this possible? How could images designed by people who don’t know, or haven’t talked to, us — and who are completely self-interested to boot – possibly reflect our innermost thoughts and feelings? Figuring out how exercises in persuasion by self-interested advertisers somehow manage to create reliable indicators of public sentiment has puzzled social scientists for a long time. Fortunately, it looks like the new social media may provide a key to solving that puzzle.

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Rebel Video: The video movement of the 1970s and 1980s

Rebel Video: The video movement of the 1970s and 1980s

In the 1970s and 1980s, young activists discovered video as a new medium and used moving images in their struggle for access to cultural expression for the many, not the few. They were researching and developing new forms of independent and participatory media work – an important step towards realizing the utopian promises of the digital age.

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Researching Everyday Lives

Researching Everyday Lives

Researching Everyday Lives was produced as part of a multi disciplinary study into health and well being in rural communities in Kazakhstan.

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News/updates

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR GRADUATE STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE

The IVSA is governed by its Executive Board, which consists of President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Technology Advisor, Visual Studies Editor, Graduate Student Representative and nine elected Board Members.

The following IVSA Executive Board position is now open for nominations and self-nominations:

  • Graduate Student Representative (GSR)

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Call for Proposals to Host Annual Conference

The IVSA has launched a call for proposals from individuals and organizations interested in hosting our annual conference. Proposals are being accepted for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

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  • Give us adequate images. We lack adequate images. Our civilization does not have adequate images. And I think a civilization is doomed or is going to die out like dinosaurs if it doesn’t develop an adequate language for adequate images.

    Werner Herzog

  • Before I became a film major, I was very heavily into social science, I had done a lot of sociology, anthropology, and I was playing in what I call social psychology, which is sort of an offshoot of anthropology/sociology – looking at a culture as a living organism, why it does what it does.

    George Lucas

  • We never really know what’s around the corner when we’re filming – what turn a story will take, what a character will do or say to surprise us, how the events in the world will impact our story.

    Barbara Kopple

  • Watching a documentary with people hacking their way through some polar wasteland is merely a visual. Actually trying to deal with cold that can literally kill you is quite a different thing.

    Henry Rollins

  • You try your hardest to give people their space, but at moments you know you’re capturing their image in ways they may or may not be okay with. It’s that rocking back and forth between respect and betrayal that I feel like is at the heart of the film.

    Kirsten Johnson

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    There are dignified stupidities, and there are heroic stupidities, and there is such a thing as stupid stupidities, and that would be a stupid stupidity not to have a camera on board.

    Werner Herzog

  • If you want to tell the untold stories, if you want to give voice to the voiceless, you’ve got to find a language. Which goes for film as well as prose, for documentary as well as autobiography. Use the wrong language, and you’re dumb and blind.

    Salman Rushdie

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    Reality changes; in order to represent it, modes of representation must change.

    Bertolt Brecht

  • Photographers learn to interpret photographs in that technical way because they want to understand and use that ‘language’ themselves (just as musicians learn a more technical musical language than the layman needs). Social scientists who want to work with visual materials will have to learn to approach them in this more studious and time-consuming way

    Howard Becker

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    The task for sociology is to come to the help of the individual. We have to be in service of freedom. It is something we have lost sight of.

    Zygmunt Bauman

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    If it’s far away, it’s news, but if it’s close at home, it’s sociology.

    James Reston

  • I believe that we face incredible obstacles in our attempts to see the world. Everything in our nature tries to deny the world around us; to refabricate it in our own image; to reinvent it for our own benefit. And so, it becomes something of a challenge, a task, to recover (or at least attempt to recover) the real world despite all the impediments to that end.

    Errol Morris

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    Sometimes one picture is equal to 30 pages of discourse, just as there are things images are completely incapable of communicating.

    William S. Burroughs

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    Every photograph promises more than it delivers and delivers more than it intended.

    Steve Harp

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    For any picture, ask yourself what question or questions it might be answering. Since the picture could answer many, questions, we can decide what question we are interested in.

    Howard Becker

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    One advantage of photography is that it’s visual and can transcend language.

    Lisa Kristine

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    Visual culture is now the study of how to understand change in a world too enormous to see but vital to imagine.

    Nicholas Mirzoeff

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    The function of sociology, as of every science, is to reveal that which is hidden.

    Pierre Bourdieu

#Visualsociology

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