Archives For Images

 

Breaking and Making Images
 
A Review of 
 

Image and Presence: A Christological Reflection on Iconoclasm and Iconophilia
Natalie Carnes

Paperback: Stanford UP, 2018
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ] [  Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by C. Christopher Smith
 
 
To write words on a page, or to draw an image, is to restrict and confine. The full presence of a person, creature, or object can never be confined in this representation, and yet they are present in powerful ways in the representation. These dynamics of the specific limits of an image, and the presence that is contained in the same image, are central to Natalie Carnes’s insightful new book Image and Presence: A Christological Reflection on Iconoclasm and Iconophilia.

Continue Reading…

 

“There’s No Such Thing as an Imageless World…
And It’s a Good Thing, too

A review of
On the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods

by Bruno Latour
.

Review by Chris Smith.


Bruno Latour - The Factish GodsOn the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods
Bruno Latour
.
Paperback: Duke Univ. Press, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

As a graduate student in philosophy of science over a decade ago, I was deeply moved by the work of Bruno Latour, and particular his work (co-written with Steve Woolgar) Laboratory Life: The Social Construction of Scientific Facts, which is a bold critique that drives at the heart of what science is.  Although Latour has, in recent years, grown increasingly skeptical of social criticism, he remains one of the clearest and most sensible social philosophers of our age.  Thus, I was intrigued by his newest work, a slim volume of three essays entitled On The Modern Cult of the Factish Gods.

Continue Reading…

 

As I was writing my review of Bruno Latour’s On The Modern Cult of the Factish Gods, I was reminded several times along the way of art critic Daniel Siedell‘s excellent book God in the Gallery (one of our Englewood Honor Books for 2008… read our review.)  I instinctively did a quick search online search to see what Daniel was up to these days and uncovered this excellent video of him speaking recently at Biola… Enjoy!

 

“The Cult of Self and
The Tyranny of Illusion”

A Review of
Empire of Illusion:
The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.

by Chris Hedges.

 Reviewed by Brent Aldrich.

 

Empire of Illusion:
The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.

Chris Hedges.

Hardback: Nation Books, 2009.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Susan Sontag’s seminal 1973 book On Photography begins in Plato’s cave, “still reveling, [humankind’s] age-old habit, in mere images of the truth. But being educated by photographs is not like being educated by older, more artisanal images.” She continues, “By furnishing the already crowded world with a duplicate one of images, photography makes us feel that the world is more available than it really is. Needing to have reality confirmed and experience enhanced by photographs is an aesthetic consumerism to which everyone is now addicted. Industrial societies turn their citizens into image-junkies; it is the most irresistible form of mental pollution.” Similarly, Chris Hedges begins his new book Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle – after a visit to the World Wrestling Entertainment ring – back in Plato’s cave, “chained to the flickering shadows of celebrity culture, the spectacle of the arena and the airwaves, the lies of advertising, the endless personal dramas, many of them completely fictional, that have become the staple of news, celebrity gossip New Age mysticism, and pop psychology” (15). It is the replacement of reality with illusion, and the inability to see beyond the illusion that dominates Empire of Illusion.

    Divided into five chapters, the Illusions of Literacy, Love, Wisdom, Happiness, and America narrate what reads like many social constructivist or ‘society of spectacle’ critiques of the last several decades, although Hedges places these illusory experiences right in the middle of our current politics, economics and entertainment. And it would seem the illusions are easier to come by than reality itself, as many other writers – such as Wendell Berry or Neil Postman (both alluded to by Hedges here) have described in various works over the years. It is, however, Sontag’s essays on photography that I keep returning to as a framework for contextualizing the dismal images Hedges cites as indications of the disintegration of reality. Continue Reading…

 

With more than a little irony, we offer you an excellent video interview which introduces Chris Hedges’ new book Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.  We will feature a review of this book in Vol. 2 #35, due out September 4.

Part 1 of 2:

Part 2 of 2: