New Book: Seeing from Above: The Aerial View in Visual Culture, Edited by: Mark Dorrian, Frederic Pousin. IB TAURIS 2013.
The view from above, or the “birds-eye” view, has become so ingrained in contemporary visual culture that it is now hard to imagine our world without it. It has risen to pre-eminence as a way of seeing, but important questions about its effects and meanings remain unexplored. More powerfully than any other visual modality, this image of “everywhere” supports our idea of a world-view, yet it is one that continues to be transformed as technologies are invented and refined. This innovative volume, edited by Mark Dorrian and Frederic Pousin, offers an unprecedented range of discussions on the aerial view, covering topics that range from sixteenth-century Roman maps, to the Luftwaffe’s aerial survey of Warsaw, to Google Earth. Underpinned by a cross-disciplinary approach that draws together diverse and previously isolated material, this volume examines the politics and poetics of the aerial view in relation to architecture, art, film, literature, photography and urbanism and explores its role in areas such as aesthetics and epistemology. Structured through a series of detailed case studies, this book builds into a cultural history of the aerial imagination.