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Distributed for Intellect Ltd


Towards a New Theory of the Digital Image

With today’s digital technology, the image is no longer a stable representation of the world, but a programmable view of a database that is updated in real time. It no longer functions as a political and iconic representation, but plays a vital role in synchronic data-to-data relationships. It is not only part of a program, but it contains its own operating code: the image is a program in itself. Softimage aims to account for that new reality, taking readers on a journey that gradually undoes our unthinking reliance on the apparent solidity of the photographic image and building in its place an original and timely theorization of the digital image in all its complexity, one that promises to spark debate within the evolving fields of image studies and software studies.

154 pages | 30 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2015

Culture Studies

Media Studies

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“Hoelzl and Marie are clearly excellent teachers, and this reflects in the structure of their book. The transition between chapters is extremely logical, each chapter expanding on the insights of the previous one, and the whole essay is opened and closed by a general overview that first announces and eventually recapitulates the theory of the softimage. Moreover, the style is free of jargon, not a small accomplishment in this field. At the same time, the desire to speak for a broader audience does not involve any downgrading of the technological. Softimage is not a book that offers a critical reading of technology as opposed to humanities. It helps instead understand the vital importance of technology for humanist scholars and should be read as a standing invitation to supersede the barriers between technological form and visual content.”


Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Chapter 1: Moving Stills (The Ken Burns Effect)
Chapter 2: Expanded Photography (The Desire for Endlessness)
Chapter 3: The Photographic Now (From Sign to Signal)
Chapter 4: In the Matrix (From Geometry to Algorithm)
Chapter 5: The Operative Image (Google Street View: The World as Database)
Chapter 6: In the Urban Data-Space (The Image as Moment of Network Access)
Conclusion: Softimage

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