Nicholas Mirzoeff will present his current project in a public lecture on September 28th at 4 pm that looks at the formations of the visual commons from the Haitian Revolution, via Reconstruction and 1968 to the Black Lives Matter movement. A brown bag lunch and discussion will focus on How to See the World (2015), which analyzes an unprecedented political shift initiated by the visual revolution of the internet’s image explosion. From Google Images to Instagram, video games to installation art, this transformation is confusing, liberating and worrying all at once. As Mirzoeff reminds us, this is not the first visual revolution; the nineteenth century saw the invention of film, photography and x-rays, and the development of maps, microscopes and telescopes made the 17th century an era of visual discovery. But the sheer quantity of images produced on the internet today has no parallels.
Nicholas Mirzoeff is Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University. He is one of the founders of the academic discipline of visual culture in books like An Introduction to Visual Culture (1999/2009) and The Visual Culture Reader (1998/2002/2012). He is currently Deputy Director of the International Association for Visual Culture and organized its first conference in 2012. His book The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality (2011) won the Anne Friedberg Award for Innovative Scholarship from the Society of Cinema and Media Studies in 2013. In 2012, he undertook a durational writing project called Occupy 2012. Every day, he posted online about the Occupy movement and its implications. Open source anthologies of the project are available. In 2014, he launched After Occupy: What We Learned, an open writing project on the lessons of the social movement. In 2015, he published How To See The World with Pelican in the UK. Currently, he is working on a project entitled The Visual Commons #BlackLivesMatter.