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Seeing

Parent categories: perception - sense

Related: eye - voyeurism - visual

"Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognises before it can speak. But there is also another sense in which seeing comes before words. It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world within words, but words can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled." [John Berger, Ways of Seeing. London: BBC 1972, p. 7]

Un Chien Andalou (1929) - Luis Bu˝uel [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Definition

Seeing or vision describes the ability to detect light and interpret it as "sight". There is disagreement as to whether or not this constitutes one, two or even three distinct senses. Neuroanatomists generally regard it as two senses, given that different receptors are responsible for the perception of colour (the frequency of light) and brightness (the energy of light). Some argue that the perception of depth also constitutes a sense, but it is generally regarded that this is really a cognitive (that is, post-sensory) function derived from having stereoscopic vision (two eyes) and is not a sensory perception as such. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_perception

John Berger [...]

"Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognises before it can speak. But there is also another sense in which seeing comes before words. It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world within words, but words can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled." [John Berger, Ways of Seeing. London: BBC 1972, p. 7]

These are the first words spoken by John Berger at the start of the television series Ways of Seeing first broadcast by the BBC in 1972. That series inaugurated a thorough-going re-vision of the way in which we think about the world. It did so by putting the question of vision and the visual image at the heart of questions about culture. --Lloyd Spencer , http://www.tasc.ac.uk/depart/media/staff/ls/WSeeing/Embody.htm, accessed Mar 2004

Ways of Seeing (1972) John Berger

  • Ways of Seeing (1972) John Berger [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Ways of Seeing is an influential book by John Berger, consisting of several essays about art, feminism and publicity. It is often assigned to college freshmen who are studying art history. In it, he makes inquiries in how we view art, why we view art, and possible social implication of art. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ways_of_Seeing [Oct 2005]

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