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The Virtual Window: From Alberti to Microsoft Hardcover – October 6, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0262062527 ISBN-10: 0262062526 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; First Edition edition (October 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262062526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262062527
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,991,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The Virtual Window is, quite simply, brilliant. Even as Friedberg employs an interdisciplinary historical sweep that most scholars would be incapable of, she offers grounded and very tightly focused discussions of specific theories and visual practices related to the use of windows and screens from the Renaissance to the age of new media."
John Caldwell, Professor, Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media, University of California, Los Angeles

"Unlike most theorists of digital culture, Anne Friedberg brings a deeply historical perspective to the visual metaphors of our wired world. The Virtual Window charts transformations in visual knowledge leading from Renaissance perspective to today's computer desktops by tracking shifts in the physical and philosophical meanings of 'windows.' Its long view offers an important methodological model to media studies and art history alike."
David Joselit, Professor, History of Art, Yale University

"The digital revolution has globalized a word and a notion that Leon Battista Alberti first translated from the realm of building to that of representation in 1435. Anne Friedberg's wide-ranging and masterly book shows that the recent renaissance of Alberti's 'window' is neither coincidence nor simple homonymy. From linear perspective to moving pictures to split screens, from see-through to light-receiving and light-emitting devices, Friedberg brilliantly demonstrates that the virtual window has been the most successful single tool for mimesis, command, and control in the history of Western civilization."
Mario Carpo, École d'Architecture de Paris-La Villette

About the Author

Anne Friedberg was Professor of Critical Studies in the School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California, and the author of Window Shopping: Cinema and the Postmodern.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jon Wiener on November 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The movie screen, the TV screen, and the computer screen have become part of our everyday experience - substitutes for the architectural window that frames a view, and for the frame around a painting. But only in the last two decades have multiple screens become familiar. Typically film and TV both display a single frame on a single screen, despite other possibilities. What does it mean to "frame" an idea or experience using the new digital technologies? How does it change our "perspective"? Anne Friedberg takes up these issues with extraordinary theoretical sophistication and an impressive knowledge of history.
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Although I have yet to completely read this book, I have read a few chapters and am finding it very interesting and easier to read than a lot of the assignments for Space and Representation Art History class. It works as a great survey text, the introduction lays out exactly what she will be covering and it progresses in a logical manner. Friedberg's analysis of Alberti's window were particularly intriguing. I recommend this for anyone interested in the development of space and virtuality.
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