How to See the World: An Introduction

The introduction of How to See the World by Nicholas Mirzoeff illustrated some very interesting points. Firstly, it talked abut how with the new Blue Marble photo is in fact an amalgamation of many smaller images taken by satellites around the world. I fully agree with Mirzoeff when he then goes on to say how this is a metaphor for our current society and even further, our selves. I have been made very aware in the past weeks that my identity does not just stem from one thing. I am, in fact, a collection of the things I enjoy and their influences on me. And this is true for everyone around me too. However, we tend to introduce ourselves as our most important feature. This is the same for Blue Marble which shows the global superpower, America at it’s center. “We assemble a world from pieces, assuming that what we see is both coherent and equivalent to reality.” (Mirzoeff 10)

Another interesting point raised in the text was that we are living in “permanent unrest.” Because of this, we are able to constantly change and reinvent ourselves through our social media. However, this is not new. Many other time periods have experienced similar unrest in communication, with the invention of cameras/films/x-rays/radio and many other forms of technology, people have found many different mediums in which to communicate. Now, everything is at our fingertips though. Photos can be taken with a phone which is more technologically capable than the computers which first sent us to the moon. Essentially, we have the ability to engage with those thousands of miles away from us within seconds. People can feel like a part of a collective just through online interaction and this is something never experienced before. (Mirzoeff  16)

Featured Image: Kuring, Norman. Blue Marble, 2012, Photograph, NASA, https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_2159.html.

Works Cited:

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. How to See the World. Penguin, 2015, pp. 1-27.

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