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Visions of Modernity
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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.

 
Introduction
The Origin of the Image: The Image of the Origin  
 
PART ONE: THE RUINS OF REPRESENTATION
 
Photomimesis
 
The Geometric Universe
 
Writing with Light
 
The Mechanical Eye of Reason
 
Promiscuous Meanings
 
The Mobile Frame
 
Flickering in Eclipses
 
The Ends of Representation
 
PART TWO: PHOTOMNEMONICS
 
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
 
PART THREE: THE NEW PLASTICITY OF SPACE AND TIME
 
Pure Speed
From Transport to Teleport  
 
Reconstructing `the World'
 
The Myth of the Centre
 
In the Neon Forest
 
Interzones
 
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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