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See the Light: Photography, Perception, Cognition Hardcover – November 22, 2013
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"The catalogue's organizational structure is diagrammatic and categorical. . . but the result is richly informative."
"It gives me great pleasure to report that the following Prestel Publishing title has been selected for inclusion in Choice's annual OAT [Outstanding Academic Titles] list, which will appear in the January 2015 issue of Choice Magazine:
Salvesen, Britt. See the light: photography, perception, cognition: the Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection, by Britt Salvesen with Todd Cronan et al.
—Mark Cummings, Editor & Publisher, Choice
From the Inside Flap
Examining the power of photography and the workings of perception, this groundbreaking book considers a major American photographic collection and proposes an important new thesis on the interaction of photography and perception. This new arrangement of the Vernon collection allows us to understand the interconnection between photography and visual experience. Works by history’s most acclaimed photographers and the author’s thoughtful observations are accompanied by writings in the field of cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and art history. As the art world is increasingly interconnected with science and technology, this book offers a much-needed meditation on how this synergy is played out in the area of photography.
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That being said, when it comes to the body of the book, Ms. Salvesson is intelligent enough to let the photography take center stage so the images speak to each other under the loose headings she uses to quad-furcate the collection, whether you agree with her divisions, then allows Ms. Salveson four close reading of one work in each of the four sections. They are on par with Schwarkofsk's did in 100 photos from MOMA but are sufficiently few for each body section to stand as a visual dialogue.
The books critical consideration is then handed over to brilliant writers from multiple disciplines to father the thinking about pictures that opens the book to expand the ways of thinking about photography going forward in ways beyond one scholars input. Oh that Rosalind's Krause's "History of Modern Sculpture" were a book of this beauty from intro to modern sculpture class -- I'd probably still have it to this day. I can't think of a better texbook as a starting point for a under-or-post grad course on photography in the history and philosphy of science tradition. Given its' structure and ability to work in consort with the public domain PDF's online, it could fold-out into a Germaine Greer worthy class on a media that changed the last century.