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Visions of Modernity

Visions of Modernity
Representation, Memory, Time and Space in the Age of the Camera

December 1997 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This overview of modern visual culture explores the relationship between technology, society and identity which underpins contemporary `media culture'. While tracing historical shifts as they have developed through, or intersected with, different camera technologies, the book is not so much about the camera's field of vision: it is concerned with processes of modernization and the dramatic changes - perceptual, experiential, epistemological - which characterize modernity.

Using the camera and its technologies as symbols of `realism', Scott McQuire interweaves: the history of visual culture from Lumiere to virtual reality by way of photography, cinema and television; the broad social and political transformations of the last 150 years; the ambivalent relationship between `image' and `reality'; and the changing relationships of time and space, particularly related to colonialism, globalization, the modern city and cyberspace available in every home.

The Origin of the Image: The Image of the Origin

The Geometric Universe
Writing with Light
The Mechanical Eye of Reason
Promiscuous Meanings
The Mobile Frame
Flickering in Eclipses
The Ends of Representation
The Eye of the Camera Faces Backwards
The Law of Progress
The Crisis of Memory
Amnesic Cultures
Eternity's Hostage
The Camera and the Archive

Intolerable Memories
Biodegradable Histories
Pure Speed
From Transport to Teleport

Reconstructing `the World'
The Myth of the Centre
In the Neon Forest
Unstable Architectures
Telepresence and the Government of Time

`McQuire has produced a comprehensive and lucidly written account of the camera-driven transformations across the period we may now retrospectively call "modernity"' - Victor Burgin, Unviersity of California, Santa Cruz

`Visions of Modernity offers an admirable overview of modern visual culture. But, more than this, it takes us through a wide range of debates in cultural theory. McQuire has produced an encompassing, and very impressive work of intellectual synthesis' - Kevin Robins, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne

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ISBN: 9780761953012
ISBN: 9780761953005