What Do Pictures Want?: the lives and loves of images


Why do people undergo powerful responses to images and pictures? In order to understand these responses W. J. T. Mitchell suggests that images should be treated not as inert objects, but, rather, as animated beings with desires, needs and drives of their own. Assigning them intentionality provides a tool for decoding the power that they have over us. “What Do Pictures Want?” describes Mitchell’s influential theory of pictures via a varied assortment of examples from across the visual arts, literature and mass media.



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