Imagery in the 21st Century

Imagery in the 21st Century

Edited by Oliver Grau

With Thomas Veigl

Scholars from science, art, and humanities explore the meaning of our new image worlds and offer new strategies for visual analysis.





Scholars from science, art, and humanities explore the meaning of our new image worlds and offer new strategies for visual analysis.

We are surrounded by images as never before: on Flickr, Facebook, and YouTube; on thousands of television channels; in digital games and virtual worlds; in media art and science. Without new efforts to visualize complex ideas, structures, and systems, today's information explosion would be unmanageable. The digital image represents endless options for manipulation; images seem capable of changing interactively or even autonomously. This volume offers systematic and interdisciplinary reflections on these new image worlds and new analytical approaches to the visual.

Imagery in the 21st Century examines this revolution in various fields, with researchers from the natural sciences and the humanities meeting to achieve a deeper understanding of the meaning and impact of the image in our time. The contributors explore and discuss new critical terms of multidisciplinary scope, from database economy to the dramaturgy of hypermedia, from visualizations in neuroscience to the image in bio art. They consider the power of the image in the development of human consciousness, pursue new definitions of visual phenomena, and examine new tools for image research and visual analysis.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262015721 416 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 132 figures


$60.00 X ISBN: 9780262525350 416 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 132 figures


Oliver Grau

Oliver Grau is Professor for Image Science and Dean of the Department for Cultural Studies at Danube University. He is the author of Virtual Art: From Illusion to Immersion (2003) and editor of MediaArtHistories (2007), both published by the MIT Press.


Thomas Veigl.


  • Internationally renowned contributors from the arts, science & humanities examine this latest revolution of the image and its implications for our contemporary globalized media society...thus a highly recommended read to discover individually.

    Pamela C. Scorzin

    Journal of Art History

  • I was thrilled to read Grau's and Veigl's Imagery in the 21st Century and I will use it in my teaching. Imagery in the 21st Century is a fabulous resource for the reflection on contemporary visuality.

    Trebor Scholz


  • The authors systematically make comprehensible the challenges of visuality in the 21st century, and for the detailed analysis of concrete problems apply new tools and analysis forms in image science and digital humanities.

    Mikhail Stepanov

    International Journal of Culture Research

  • The editors demonstrate the importance to recontextualise the latest images with historic art and a poetic need of reinterpreting old optical media for a better understanding and redefinition of the image in its historic dimension.

    Cleomar Rocha

    Visualidades, Brasil

  • Even though we have just stepped into the 21st century, the texts in the book are...indispensable reading for the development of visual and media literacy essential for communication and social interaction in a dominantly visual world we live in.

    Jelena Guga

    Nova Misao, Serbia

  • The analphabets of the future will not be those who cannot read, but those who don't know how to see and understand visually. The anthology Imagery in the 21st Century by Oliver Grau has seen and understood this prophetic writing on the wall by Walter Benjamin.

    Bent Fausing