Good Looking

Good Looking

Essays on the Virtue of Images

By Barbara Maria Stafford

Challenging the reflexive identification of images with vice.

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Summary

Challenging the reflexive identification of images with vice.

Building on the arguments of her previous books, Body Criticism (MIT Press, 1991) and Artful Science (MIT Press, 1994), Good Looking challenges the reflexive identification of images with vice. Today rampant criticism, both inside and outside the academy, condemns the immoralities of aesthetic illusion, museum display, cable television, and hypermedia. Believing with the American pragmatists that it is harder to do than to denounce, Barbara Stafford urges imagists to abandon Foucault's bankrupt paradigm of verbal combat. Instead of more "improving" theoretical discourse, she calls for developing a positive visual praxis on the interpretive ruins of linguistic postmodernism. Organized around three major themes—the explosion of optical information, the urgency of inventing an imaging interdiscipline, and the ethical dilemmas of technological transparency—these twelve essays connect a disappearing lens culture to the digital diaphanousness of the twenty-first century.

Hardcover

Out of Print ISBN: 9780262193696 277 pp. | 6.8 in x 8.9 in

Paperback

Out of Print ISBN: 9780262692106 277 pp. | 6.8 in x 8.9 in

Endorsements

  • Good Looking constitutes an important and permanent contribution to the growing critique of text-driven post-structuralist critical practice as an efficacious tool for talking about visible and visual artifacts in this culture.

    David Hickey

    Associate Professor of Art Criticism and Theory, University of Nevada