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Hardcover | ISBN: 9780262031691 | 183 pp. | 7 x 9 in | December 1990
Paperback | $24.95 Trade | £17.95 | ISBN: 9780262531078 | 183 pp. | 7 x 9 in | February 1992

Instructor Resources

Techniques of the Observer

On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century


Jonathan Crary's Techniques of the Observer provides a dramatically new perspective on the visual culture of the nineteenth century, reassessing problems of both visual modernism and social modernity. This analysis of the historical formation of the observer is a compelling account of the prehistory of the society of the spectacle."Jonathan Crary is Assistant Professor of Art History at Columbia University. He is a founding editor of Zone and Zone Books.

About the Author

Jonathan Crary is Meyer Schapiro Professor of Modern Art and Theory at Columbia University. A founding editor of Zone Books, he is the author of Techniques of the Observer (MIT Press, 1990) and coeditor of Incorporations (Zone Books, 1992). He has been the recipient of Guggenheim, Getty, Mellon, and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.


"Nimbly interweaving the histories of science, technology, philosophy, popular culture, and the visual arts, Jonathan Crary provides a stunning challenge to conventional wisdom about the epochal transformation of visual culture in the nineteenth century. Techniques of the Observer will be a vital resource for anyone concerned with the complex interaction of technological modernization and aesthetic modernism." Martin Jay , University of California at Berkeley"—