From the list on beginning the study of visual culture.
Who am I?
I'm currently an Honorary Fellow in Social Theory at the University of York, U.K. For more than five decades I've been working to promote more reflexive perspectives in philosophy, sociology, social theory, and sociological research. I've written and edited many books in the field of social theory with particular emphasis upon questions of culture and critical research in the expanding field of visual culture. Recent projects include Interpreting Visual Culture (with Ian Heywood), The Handbook of Visual Culture, and an edited multi-volume textbook to be published by Bloomsbury, The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Visual Culture. The passion to understand the thought and visual culture of both the ancient and modern world continues to inform my work.
Barry's book list on beginning the study of visual culture
Why did Barry love this book?
On Photography is Sontag’s attempt to develop the thought of Barthes, Benjamin, and others and apply the resultant perspective to the critical understanding of the fundamental role of photography in modern life. The book is constructed as a series of interconnected essays, each of which explores the moral and dialectical character of photographic interventions. Photography embodies the moral ambiguity of human activity: the camera claims to deliver truth but is essentially selective and partial; photography reveals and conceals the real; the photograph is an artificial mode of representation but claims to provide a `picture’ of life that can only be captured through the camera.
This ambiguous ontology of the image impacts upon both the act of image-making and the interpretive task of reading and understanding the image. With modern photography the viewer is constituted in a dual movement of separation (and alienation) and connectivity (and communality). Photographic engagement constitutes, so…