IMAGES Journal for Visual Studies

events: Visual studies today: The power of images


Silvia Casini
Guided by Images: From Jean-Luc Godard to Brain Scans

My paper seeks to respond to Elkins’ urging that "visual studies as a discipline needs to find ways to be guided by pictures rather than ways of explaining pictures". I consider two cases where images resist interpretation or explanation by means of written words. The first case comes from the scientific field – brain scans – the second from the experimental cinema of Godard. In both cases, it is the chain or the montage of images that count, rather than the single image, an aspect that further complicates the relationship between image and text. What kind of theoretical and practical strategies can a researcher or a filmmaker enact to let those images intervene in our arguments rather than taking them as inert objects to be looked at? The ultimate challenge for the discipline of visual studies might be to rethink the role of the researcher and of university curricula.