Field Description

The ISF Research Field on Visual Culture incorporates the breadth, depth and complexity of visuality in shaping aesthetics and culture, and also society and politics, in history and today. It presents a broad array of visual objects (from painting to cinema, but also the built environment) encompassing the field of art history and the humanities, and extending to disciplines throughout the social sciences, from geography to anthropology.  By "visual culture", we study at once the visual display of information in all disciplines and especially visual modes of constituting regimes and orders--inquiries that include the cognitive sciences and psychology.  Visual materials produce and represent social change and historical evidence, are mobilized as legal and scientific proof, used to build and forge identities, and change modes of perception generally.  These are the kinds of interdisciplinary domains for the study of visual culture.