What’s the latest with Bildwissenschaft? Christiane Kruse reviews several recent books on the subject and credits W. J. T. Mitchell’s 1994 Picture Theory with inspiring many of them. In What Do Pictures Want?, Mitchell’s latest, he explores the counterintuitive idea that pictures themselves have life and power and “do things to us that we don’t want done.” Hans-Dieter Huber (CV), meanwhile, introduces recent findings in brain research, which confirm the idea that our conscious thoughts constitute just a fraction of our mental activity when we look at a picture. The collection edited by Klaus Sachs-Hombach offers a smorgasbord of disciplinary perspectives on the field, and Martin Schulz addresses the discipline’s historical roots.

The Art History Newsletter, 25/05/2006.
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