Writing on the Image: Architecture, the City and the Politics of Representation

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract / Description of output

Ranging from an examination of the politically-laden spectacle of George IV’s visit to Edinburgh in 1822, as stage-managed by the celebrated novelist Sir Walter Scott, to an analysis of Google Earth’s role in the construction of a new kind of political map, one no longer structured through boundary lines and coloured territories but instead through a politics of image resolution, the remarkable essays in this book present innovative ways of understanding visual phenomena in historical and contemporary culture.

Writing on the Image brings together a series of Mark Dorrian’s celebrated critical writings, developed over the last twelve years. Focusing on issues of elevated vision, spectacle, atmosphere, and the limits of aesthetic experience, Dorrian explores the politics of representation through a series of close readings of the ideological effects of images in their specific contexts. Seamlessly traversing sources from architecture, art, literature, history, geography and film, the essays gathered here exemplify Mark Dorrian’s pioneering approach to architecture and visual culture.

Featuring a Foreword by Paul Carter, and an Afterword by Ella Chmielewska, Writing on the Image opens with a sequence of four historically-oriented chapters that then lead on to considerations of key events in architectural, urban and visual culture over the past decade. Whether it be an eighteenth-century engraving that depicts a magnified drop of tap water as an alien planet swarming with monstrous creatures, an artwork showing a car with the silhouette of a building mounted on its roof, the covering up of a tapestry in the UN before a televised news conference, or a large-scale satellite image affixed to the basement floor of a public building, Dorrian shows how each artefact or event he examines is eloquent in its ability to problematise a larger set of relations beyond itself.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherI.B. Tauris
Number of pages288
ISBN (Electronic)9780857738363
ISBN (Print)9781784530389
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2015

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • architecture
  • urbanism
  • representation
  • visual culture


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