John Berger’s BBC doc, Ways of Seeing, is on Youtube (this isn’t really news, btw: the version I’m linking to has been up since March of 08).  It’s a fascinating primer on some of the key observations of theorists like Benjamin and Vertov on the role of recording technologies of the 20th Century.

It is especially poignant, if ironic, that Berger regularly reminds the viewer of the status of the images she is consuming, pointing out that while he throws prints of famous paintings onto a pile in his studio, images that were once surrounded by their context of a Cathedral or Palace are now surrounded by the viewer’s own living room and the living rooms of many others simultaneously.

This is probably true, except for one crucial difference: we’re seeing them not through out televisions but through our computers.

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