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Observing Visual Cultures

Research Project ‘Observing Visual Culture’

The study of visuality relied on an opposition of words and images for a long time. Textualist approaches declared language the model of all semiosis and designed ‘grammars of film’ or read ‘culture as text’. On the other hand, visualist approaches emphasized the peculiarities of images and studied the sublime as the unsayable or turned their attention to the materiality of images. These largely irreconcilable approaches have recently been replaced by an interest in the changing relations of visuality and textuality, in intermedial transitions and mutual contaminations. Beyond word-and-image studies with their focus on captions, illustrations, emblems, etc., increasing attention is given to the relation of the sayable and the visible in the wider field of visual culture. Both sides of the debate contribute their share – visuality studies by looking at visual ensembles beyond or without images, on visual experiences that are not intimately related to a form of de-piction; literary studies by critically examining the discursive processing of such experiences in textual form, the transmission (in a mediological sense) of visuality without the help of images.
More (in German)

Past Events

Conference on ‘Interpictoriality – the Dialogue of Images’, Nov 4-5, 2011
More (in German)

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