Book ID: CBB772588105

Objects of Vision: Making Sense of What We See (2020)


A. Joan Saab (Author)

Pennsylvania State University Press

Publication Date: 2020
Physical Details: 166
Language: English

Advances in technology allow us to see the invisible: fetal heartbeats, seismic activity, cell mutations, virtual space. Yet in an age when experience is so intensely mediated by visual records, the centuries-old realization that knowledge gained through sight is inherently fallible takes on troubling new dimensions. This book considers the ways in which seeing, over time, has become the foundation for knowing (or at least for what we think we know). A. Joan Saab examines the scientific and socially constructed aspects of seeing in order to delineate a genealogy of visuality from the Renaissance to the present, demonstrating that what we see and how we see it are often historically situated and culturally constructed. Through a series of linked case studies that highlight moments of seeming disconnect between seeing and believing―hoaxes, miracles, spirit paintings, manipulated photographs, and holograms, to name just a few―she interrogates the relationship between “visions” and visuality. This focus on the strange and the wonderful in understanding changing notions of visions and visual culture is a compelling entry point into the increasingly urgent topic of technologically enhanced representations of reality.Accessibly written and thoroughly enlightening, Objects of Vision is a concise history of the connections between seeing and knowing that will appeal to students and teachers of visual studies and sensory, social, and cultural history.

Reviewed By

Review Rachael Z. DeLue (2022) Review of "Objects of Vision: Making Sense of What We See". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 169-170). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Hentschel, Klaus
Feldman, Hannah
Max Ryynänen
Alexis L. Boylan
Talia Bess Shabtay
Juan Pimentel Igea
Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschau
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Oxford University Press
MIT Press
Marcial Pons
University of Nevada, Reno
Northwestern University
University of Pennsylvania Press
Visual perception
Visual representation; visual communication
Senses and sensation; perception
Technology and culture
Max Ryynänen
Rood‏, Ogden Nicholas
Wier, Johannes
Scheiner, Christoph
Peirce, Charles Sanders
Kepler, Johannes
Time Periods
19th century
17th century
20th century
18th century
Early modern
United States
Great Britain
IMAX Filmed Entertainment
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)

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