Modern-day humans are constantly surrounded by visual information. Architecture, media, advertisements, and art are integral to our world. People who professionally study the role of visual culture in our society say that its influence goes way deeper than we think. If you want to learn more about how things we see form our perception of reality, you should give, at least, one of these three books on visual culture a chance.
These Books on Visual Culture Will Change the Way You See the World
Susan Sontag, On Photography
Susan Sontag was one of the major researchers, whose work is now regarded as pivotal to understanding modern visual culture. Her collection of essays, On Photography, published in 1977, examines the photography features that make it different from other mediums, focusing on documentary photography. Sontag argued that, throughout history, photography influenced our perception of real-life events people, and the photographers themselves, had witnessed. The researcher examined the distance we put between ourselves and our experiences when attempting to capture them with a camera. Unsurprisingly, her essay collection is still strikingly relevant today, in the era when photography is more accessible than ever.
Alexis L. Boylan, Visual Culture
The book Visual Culture by Alexis L. Boylan offers a more contemporary perspective. Published in 2020, it uses historical examples and modern popular culture references to illustrate its points in a way that is familiar to us today. Boylan explores the what, who, where, and when of visual culture, masterfully pointing out the ubiquity of visual stimuli in our daily lives. Read this book if you want to ease your way into the field of visual culture studies accompanied by the author’s playful and fun yet confident tone.
Richard Howells, Visual Culture
In his Visual Culture, Richard Howells takes you on a journey through different periods, theoretical approaches, and mediums, presenting a multi-faceted overview of the field. If you are looking for a well-structured, academic introduction to visual culture studies, this book is perfect for you. There are several editions of the book, each focusing on various aspects of visual analysis a little bit more. After finishing Visual Culture, you will see and understand what you are looking at better.
Reading these books on visual culture will be a great place to start your journey to the incredibly vast and fascinating field of study.