12.0056 iconoclasm vs. iconopoesis

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Wed, 3 Jun 1998 19:00:27 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 12, No. 56.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

[1] From: Jascha Kessler <jkessler@ucla.edu> (26)
Subject: Dear Willard, about this generation's deficiencies,

[2] From: Matt Kirschenbaum (34)
Subject: Re: 12.0055 images & the visual imagination

Date: Tue, 2 Jun 1998 15:00:56 -0700
From: Jascha Kessler <jkessler@ucla.edu>
Subject: Dear Willard, about this generation's deficiencies, and...

the coming world...I discussed the problem of the alteration of the
"aesthetic faculty" in Vienna in 1991, and the talk was just finally
published in Germany, in English. Of course, no Anglophone journal would
ever think of printing it, as it is not pollyanna or PC. It is a very
serious issue, especially because such a Leviathan as Microsoft proposes to
teach and give degrees and instruct the world int he knowledge it purveys,
and IN THE FORMS IN WHICH IT ALONE purveys it. Etc. But it is more than
that, since my take is about the formation of the human individual in the
age of the moving image, which grows ever more ineffably contentless,
perforce. The medium is the destroyer of delights, to use the euphemism
for Death that is used in the 1001 Nights. I append the bibliographical
reference to this newly published piece.
Cordially, yours,

Jascha Kessler

"Epimetheus, or, A Reflection on 'The Box,'" ANGLISTIK: Mitteilungen des
Verbandes Deutscher Anglisten, 9, Jahrgang, Heft 1, 1998,
(Universitaetsverlag, Heidelberg), pages 131-137. ESSAY

Jascha Kessler
Professor of English & Modern Literature
Department of English
Box 951530
Los Angeles, California 90095-1530
Telephone/Facsimile: (310) 393-4648

Date: Tue, 2 Jun 1998 21:13:33 -0400 (EDT)
From: Matt Kirschenbaum <mgk3k@jefferson.village.virginia.edu>
Subject: Re: 12.0055 images & the visual imagination


In response to your query on visual design:

I've felt for some time now that graphic design/interface design ought
to be understood as no less central to humanities computing than
document encoding and text analysis. (And that's an assertion meant to
invite debate here, btw.)

For a breathtaking range of visual expression, see especially Edward
Tufte's books: =Envisioning Information= and =The Visual Display of
Quantitative Information=. Steve Johnson's recent =Interface Culture= is
also a useful point of departure, better than just about anything else
on the pop-cyberculture shelf, though not strictly limited to matters of
visual design.

If you're asking about curricula that teach the fundamentals of visual
expression in a focused and organized way, I suspect you'll want to look
not to computer science departments, but rather to design schools such
as (in the States) CalArts, the Cranbrook Academy, the Rhode Island
School of Design (which sponsors the excellent journal, =Visible
Language=), as well as to interdisciplinary multimedia degree programs
such as those at Georgia Tech and San Francisco State. I'm less familiar
with the UK scene, but am aware of interesting graphic design work
coming out of such places as the Royal College of Art. As with the
digital arts community (my soapbox from the previous week), I believe
the potential for professional interaction with these people is

I can't resist adding that the first thing Michael Joyce writes in =Of
Two Minds=, his collected essays, is that "hypertext is, before anything
else, a visual from." So there.

Yours, Matt

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

Matthew G. Kirschenbaum
Department of English
Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities
University of Virginia

mgk3k@virginia.edu or mattk@virginia.edu

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