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Images of Knowledge

The Epistemic Lives of Pictures and Visualisations

Edited By Nora S. Vaage, Rasmus T. Slaattelid, Trine Krigsvoll Haagensen and Samantha L. Smith

The authors consider the relationship between knowledge and image, though multi-faceted, to be one of reciprocal dependence. But how do images carry and convey knowledge? The ambiguities of images means that interpretations do not necessarily follow the intention of the image producers. Through an array of different cases, the chapters critically reflect upon how images are mobilised and used in different knowledge practices, within certain knowledge traditions, in different historical periods. They question what we take for granted, what seems evident, what goes without saying. This approach spans across established categories such as «scientific imaging», «religious images» and «artworks», and considers how images may contribute meaning across such categories.
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Images Without Knowledge?

Just because signs and images can be found among the earliest traces of human culture (or even be identical with them due to the very nature of the trace as a visible marking), that does not mean they are limited elements of a primitive communication. On the contrary, many of the basic forms of decoration and design that appeared long before the advent of alphabets or elaborated sign systems have remained fundamental for the conception and communication of ideas and information, and they still serve this purpose in a powerful way that other means of expression and symbolisation can hardly fulfil.

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