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Blogmo Day 12: This is the eye of the machine

December 12, 2008

Courtesy of You Tube and mother Beeb, John Berger’s amazing, (and still relevant) Ways of Seeing. I highly suggest setting some time aside to watch all four episodes (each about a half hour). Here’s the first part of the first episode. If any of the links have gone down, please let me know, I think I have saved them to my hard drive, and can re-up them.

Mostly, this first part makes me think about how even more easily reproducible web images are than physical reproductions of the details of paintings (i.e. here, he talks about postcards sold at museum shops). What do JPEG reproductions fit in our “seeing” of images, especially with so many scattered across the web?

Here, have some JPEGs from my hard drive. They are not random by the mere fact that I have selected them from the thousands of pictures I see every day on the internet to keep. I often clean these random pictures out. But what do they say about me? More so, what do they say when placed next to one another outside of their original context?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 12, 2008 8:49 pm


    First I happen to have all the Chaucer LOLz on my harddrive as well. They often show up on my background or at least once in a grad school presentation this term.

    Second, Should I know the redhead in the photo above? Is he someone famous?

    Third, I only got halfway through the video – I am writing a paper and should not even be on the internets right now – but I really want to watch all of them. Can you tell me how to get a hold of them?.
    I think that the ideas that he brings up (as you do) are quite relevant and hotly debated. What is the nature of digital media? How does it redefine our world? All important questions. Although my favorite and perhaps most interesting: What is an original in the digital world? This to me is most interesting. Is the copy of my Thesis on my harddrive the original? The one I emailed to cook? The one I printed off and gave to the department? Or have we lost meaning in the notion of an original – which I think might actually be the case.

    Have you read Benjamin’s Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction? If not, shoot me an e-mail and I will share it with you on Google Docs.

  2. December 12, 2008 9:02 pm


    1. That chaucer lulz gives me great joy that a joke succeeds in lolcat and middle English
    2. UUUUGHH DAMIAN LEWIS. END STOP. I would suggest checking out the tv show “Life” when you get the chance. Also, in the huge version of that photo, the books behind his shoulder are early modern travelogues. No comment.
    3. They are all up on youtube. if you click through that video, they should show up as related videos to the first. I’m fairly sure I still have the saved versions on my HD though.

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