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Michael F. Zimmermann (ed.): Vision in Motion

Michael F. Zimmermann (ed.)

Vision in Motion
Streams of Sensation and Configurations of Time

Hardcover, 656 pages

PDF, 656 pages

Vision is not mere registration of what enters, via the gateway of our eyes, from the outside world into our inner consciousness. Understanding the act of seeing as mirroring the outside world in mental images overlooks its temporal aspect. From Berkeley to Helmholtz, from Goethe to Cézanne, new discourses based on the physiology of the sense organs lead to new conceptions of vision not only conceived of as a mental process, but as a cognitive activity. Even before Freud interpreted dreams, seeing was conceived of as accompanying our life even when we sleep. However, to understand even the stream of the sensations, we have to configure them in pictures. Since the 19th century, the media reflect about the confrontation of seeing as a diachronic activity and of perception as coded in synchronic images. The contributions to the volume investigate the opposition of the stream of sensations and the configuration of time – from early illustrations of plants to the avant-gardes, from gesture to cinema, from decapitation to dance, from David Hume to Bergson and Deleuze. The main objective is a critical examination of images rendering vision in motion, without reducing them to the temporality of narrative.

  • history of science
  • physiology
  • gaze

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Michael F. Zimmermann

was a deputy director at the Central Institute of Art History in Munich from 1991 to 2002 and Associate Professor for art history of early modern and contemporary period at the University of Lausanne. He currently chairs the department of art history at the Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. His main research areas are the pictorial arts of the 19th and 20th centuries, history and philosophy of art.

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