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Six Stories from the End of Representation: Images in Painting, Photography, Astronomy, Microscopy, Particle Physics, and Quantum Mechanics, 1980-2000 (Writing Science) Paperback – February 8, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0804741484 ISBN-10: 0804741484 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Specialists and general readers alike should welcome this stimulating attempt to foster a dialogue between disciplines. Informed and informative, it is comparative without being reductive, and it continues the authors exploration of the strange threshold between words and pictures. Elkins looks at and writes about the limits of visual representation and of language about images. His curiosity is infectious."—Martin Donougho, University of South Carolina


"Few art historians have attempted to talk about scientific images, and fewer still have attended classes on quantum mechanics as preparation. Elkins's book is a fresh, original attempt to reckon with many kinds of images from the late twentieth century, ranging from modern art to astrophysics and beyond. Elkins skillfully explores how all of these images point, in their own ways, to the limits of representation. This engaging and wide-ranging study is quite an accomplishment; we need more books like this one."
—David Kaiser, MIT


"These Six Stories are an attempt to establish a new dialogue between humanists and scientists, more specifically in the field of the image, both of its production and of its interpretation This book is in many regards the provisory conclusion of many of the author's previous writings. At the same time, it would be absurd to deny that this is also a dramatically new start—not just for Elkins himself, but for our 'one-culture' way of looking at images." —Image&Narrative


"Six Stories from the End of Representation is a fascinating journey into the limits of representation in selected material from art and science. James Elkins explores the borderline between what can be observed and what can only be depicted, with a particular interest in the limitations and obstacles when the representation of meaning reaches such a place."
Leonardo

About the Author

James Elkins is E.C. Chadbourne Chair in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the Art Institute of Chicago. He has published numerous books on subjects ranging from fine art to science and natural history, including Pictures of the Body (Stanford, 1999).

More About the Author

Note: information on reaching me, on unpublished texts, etc., follows this bio.

*
James Elkins grew up in Ithaca, New York, separated from Cornell University by a quarter-mile of woods once owned by the naturalist Laurence Palmer.

He stayed on in Ithaca long enough to get the BA degree (in English and Art History), with summer hitchhiking trips to Alaska, Mexico, Guatemala, the Caribbean, and Columbia. For the last twenty-five years he has lived in Chicago; he got a graduate degree in painting, and then switched to Art History, got another graduate degree, and went on to do the PhD in Art History, which he finished in 1989. (All from the University of Chicago.) Since then he has been teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is currently E.C. Chadbourne Chair in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism.

His writing focuses on the history and theory of images in art, science, and nature. Some of his books are exclusively on fine art (What Painting Is, Why Are Our Pictures Puzzles?). Others include scientific and non-art images, writing systems, and archaeology (The Domain of Images, On Pictures and the Words That Fail Them), and some are about natural history (How to Use Your Eyes).

Current projects include a series called the Stone Summer Theory Institutes, a book called The Project of Painting: 1900-2000, a series called Theories of Modernism and Postmodernism in the Visual Art, and a book written against Camera Lucida.

He married Margaret MacNamidhe in 1994 on Inishmore, one of the Aran Islands, off the West coast of Ireland. Margaret is also an art historian, with a specialty in Delacroix. Jim's interests include microscopy (with a Zeiss Nomarski differential interference microscope and Anoptral phase contrast), optics (he owns an ophthalmologist's slit-lamp microscope), stereo photography (with a Realist camera), playing piano, and (whenever possible) winter ocean diving.

*
Contact information:


Hi, most everything about me, including unpublished texts, is here:

www.jameselkins.com

That site also has a contact form:

http://www.jameselkins.com/#page6

And that website also has my travel calendar, in case you live outside the US:

http://www.jameselkins.com/#page4

(Amazon won't let people link their Google calendars to their profile page: don't know why.)

I'm also very active on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/jamesprestonelkins

And I am active on Library Thing (posting reviews of contemporary fiction):

http://www.librarything.com/home/JimElkins

PS, I also have an Amazon "aStore," a special site for buying books:

http://astore.amazon.com/jameselkins

And last, I also have an Amazon Listmania! list:

http://www.amazon.com/lm/2ULLGW8L1NVW7

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