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Forward to The Photographed Cat: Picturing Human-Feline Ties, 1890-1940

Forward to The Photographed Cat: Picturing Human-Feline Ties, 1890-1940

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.

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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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The Sage Handbook of Visual Research Methods

The Sage Handbook of Visual Research Methods

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.

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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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News/updates

CALL FOR COVER IMAGES FOR VISUAL STUDIES

CALL FOR COVER IMAGES FOR VISUAL STUDIES

We are seeking images for the cover of future issues of Visual Studies, the journal of the International Visual Sociology Association. This is a chance for you to have your images featured in a wonderfully unique way.

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IVSA 2020 Conference

Although we are still deep in preparation for our 2019 IVSA conference in New York, we have some great news for you. We are ready to announce our 2020 conference venue and date for your diaries.

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

    James Reston

  • 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

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

    Lisa Kristine

  • 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

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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

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

    Pierre Bourdieu

  • 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

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

    Bertolt Brecht

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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

  • 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

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

    Steve Harp

  • 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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    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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    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

  • 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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