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How to Do Things with Pictures

Skill, Practice, Performance


Edited By András Benedek and Kristof Nyiri

Pictorial meaning involves not just resemblance, but also pictorial skills, pictorial acts, practices, and performance. Especially in the classroom setting, at all levels of education, it is essential to realize that teaching with pictures and learning through pictures is a practical enterprise where thinking is embedded in doing. Promoting visual learning means to be a visionary, and to take on an enormous educational challenge. But while adaptation and innovation are inevitable in a world where technological changes are rapidly and radically altering the learning environment, educational science and the everyday practice of education clearly need to retain a measure of conservatism. And any conservatism worth the name has to take account of visuality, visual thinking, and visual learning.


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The Riddle of Images Revisited. Zsuzsanna Kondor


The Riddle of Images Revisited Zsuzsanna Kondor According to a widely accepted conception, “an image cannot be seen as such without the paradoxical trick of consciousness, an ability to see something as ‘there’ and ‘not there’ at the same time”1; or as Belting paraphrases a classic, influential formula: “what an image is: the presence of an absence”2. In my talk, I will examine the roots of this apparent riddle, but I will also suggest it can be eliminated if we take into account the relation between visual perception and the motor component. Bergson, one of the proponents of the importance of motor activity, regards the term image in a curious way. The central puzzle of the image as it appears in Bergson’s considerations revolves around bridging the “explanatory gap” be- tween conscious and physical phenomena; and, in particular, it illuminates the enigmatic relation between mental and external (accessible to others) represen- tations. In conclusion, I will relate the Bergsonian image to the riddle of images against the background of similarity. That is, I will suggest, similarity alone is not an adequate aspect from which pictorial representations are examinable. 1. Representationalism and Ocular-centrism Vision as a decisive source of knowledge emerged quite early in the history of philosophy. Plato in his Timaeus said: “sight … is the source of the greatest benefit to us, for had we never seen the stars, and the sun, and the heaven, none of the words which we have spoken about the universe would ever...

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