All Consuming Images: The Politics of Style in Contemporary Culture

All Consuming Images: The Politics of Style in Contemporary Culture

All Consuming Images: The Politics of Style in Contemporary Culture

All Consuming Images: The Politics of Style in Contemporary Culture

Synopsis

A provocative, compelling, and entertaining look at how the power of images dominates every aspect of our lives.

Excerpt

How do we begin to covet, Clarisse? . . . We begin by coveting what we see every day . . . Don't your eyes seek out the things you want? --Hannibal Lechter, The Silence of the Lambs

Standing on the threshold of a new millennium--at ground zero--we are confronted by a world where a day's reality seems to melt away in the wake of the next. Each season's allotment of recognizable images, for an instant so salient and compelling, is soon consumed by a black hole. Like clockwork, new images, new fascinations, new emergencies, arrive to take their place. Break-dance, Culture Club, high tech, Khadafi, retro, Roseanne, Sudan, Jacko, bustiers, New Wave, New Traditionalism, Sadaam, Madonna, OJ, Windows 95, Monica, Do you dream in SONY? Along the way, social memory, a sense of continuity, slips away. This perpetually changing field of vision has, for many, contributed to a sense that meaning has no half-life, that we occupy a time of no enduring ideas, no over-arching values or questions.

Given this, it is odd that a book written in the mid-1980s would see the light of re-publication with little change from its original text. The durability of All Consuming Images, such as it is, is all the more remarkable given its topic: the intrinsically ephemeral subject of style.

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