Nicholas Mirzoeff is Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University. His book Watching Babylon, about the Iraq war as seen on TV and in film, was described by art historian Terry Smith as 'a tour de force by perhaps the most inventive - certainly the most wide-ranging - practitioner of visual culture analysis in the world today.'
A dizzying and delightful book
Deploying a blend of semiotics, sociology, and art history, Mirzoeff shows us how to interpret everything from old masters to selfies, from Rashomon to a map of the Mississippi. Mirzoeff says he owes much of his approach to John Berger, and this is evident in the way he argues how inevitably political visual images are... Mirzoeff draws on theorists such as Benjamin, Foucault, and Deleuze, but thankfully is much clearer and easier to read than any of those writers
*Independent on Sunday*
In our fluid world, we need reminding how strange our visual culture has become. Artist John Berger did that job for the 1970s with his classic book Ways of Seeing; now Nicholas Mirzoeff teaches us how to "read" an astronaut's 2012 space-walk selfie - and how to decode military photos smothered with labels that claim to show weapons we cannot in fact see
*New Scientist 'Books of the Year'*