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Material image. Affordances as a new approach to visual culture studies ( Art style : art & culture international magazine, 7 (2020), Nr. 7 (March)

Sauer, Martina ; Günther, Elisabeth

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This special issue on affordances bases on the thesis, that all natural and artificial things inhere affordances that appeal to our cognitive system, and thus invite us to look at them, perceive them, think about them, interpret them, and use them. The concept roots in the studies of the American psychologist James J. Gibson from the 1960s. According to him, "things" offer a certain range of possible activities depending on their form, time patterns, and material qualities, thus becoming part of human-thing-interactions. However, affordances can also be culturally trained. This aspect has been intensively discussed subsequently within different disciplines (e.g., Social Sciences, Design Studies). But only recently the concept has received attention in the field of Visual Culture Studies particularily through archaeological scholarship. As the articles of this special issue show, this approach is now gaining momentum in a broad range of image- and object-related disciplines. It may not surprise that the authors’ perspectives on images and objects vary widely within the issue. However, thanks to the use of affordances as a theoretical and/or methodological tool, they all contribute to fundamental questions of perceiving, receiving, understanding, as well as interpreting, and acting with sensuously present culture. With posts on Renaissance paintings (Martina Sauer), fashion and clothing (Petra Leutner), people (Klaus Schwarzfischer), oscilloscopes (Stefanie Bräuer), food as art (Fabiana Senkpiel), Instagram (Sarah Ullrich and Katharina Geis), photo collections (Hans Dieter Huber), Greek vases (Yael Young), antique mirrors (Nikolaus Dietrich), and damaged coins (Elisabeth & Sven Günther).

Document type: Part of a periodical
Date: 2021
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2021 15:57
Faculties / Institutes: Research Project, Working Group > Individuals
DDC-classification: Arts
Controlled Keywords: Wahrnehmung, Kommunikation, Ästhetik, Kulturtheorie, Medientheorie, Geschichte
Uncontrolled Keywords: Affordanzen, Wahrnehmungstheorie, Kommunikationstheorie, Methoden, Kunsttheorie, Kulturtheorie, Geschichte, Medientheorie
Subject (classification): Aesthetics, Art History