Image Objects: An Archaeology of Computer Graphics

Image Objects Book Cover

Image Objects: An Archaeology of Computer Graphics

Jacob Gaboury
Berkeley Book Chats

Most of us think of computer graphics as a relatively recent invention, enabling the spectacular visual effects and lifelike simulations we see in current films and digital games. In fact, computer graphics have been around as long as the modern computer itself, and have played a fundamental role in the development of our contemporary culture of computing.

In Image Objects (MIT, 2021), Jacob Gaboury (Film & Media) offers a prehistory of computer graphics. Through an examination of five technical objects (an algorithm, an interface, an object standard, a programming paradigm, and a hardware platform), Gaboury argues that computer graphics transformed the computer from a calculating machine into an interactive medium. He explores the development of computer graphics as signaling a change not only in the way we make images, but also in the way we mediate our world through the computer — and how we have come to reimagine that world as computational.

Gaboury is joined by Shane Denson (Art & Art History, Stanford University). After a brief discussion, they respond to questions from the audience.