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Why did we let cats into our homes instead of keeping them outside where they belong? Arnold Arluke and Lauren Rolfe tell us why in The Photographed Cat, Syracuse University Press. John Grady reflects on the context of this cultural change in the forward.
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]
This 42 chapter volume represents the state of the art in visual research. It provides an introduction to the field for a variety of visual researchers: scholars and graduate students in art, sociology, anthropology, communication, education, cultural studies, women’s studies, ethnic studies, global studies and related social science and humanities disciplines.
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.