IMAGE 14 (Ausgabe Juli 2011) 

Release date:


  • Klaus Sachs-Hombach, Ronny Becker, Jörg R. J. Schirra: Einleitung

  • Goda Plaum: Funktionen des bildnerischen Denkens

  • Constantin Rauer: Kleine Kulturgeschichte des Menschenbildes

  • Jennifer Daubenberger: ›A Skin Deep Creed‹

  • Sonja Zeman: ›Grammaticalization‹ within Pictorial Art? Searching for Diachronic Principles of Change in Picture and Language

  • Larissa M. Straffon: The Descent of Art: The Evolution of Visual Art as Communication via Material Culture

  • Toni Hildebrandt: Bild, Geste und Hand. Leroi-Gourhans paläontologische Bildtheorie

  • Claudia Henning: Tagungsbericht zur Internationalen Fachkonferenz Ursprünge der Bilder (30. März - 1. April 2011)

  • Impressum


Authors: Ronny Becker, Klaus Sachs-Hombach, Jörg R. J. Schirra
[Thema des Artikels]

Funktionen des bildnerischen Denkens
Author: Goda Plaum
The perception of pictures is an object of investigation of various scientific disciplines within image science discourses about dealing with pictures. The process of producing a picture does not attract much attention, though. This article wants to show that by considering the process of producing pictures, we are more likely to understand our dealing with pictures in general. Apart from the fact, that every manufacturing process of pictures is at the same time a process of perceiving them, there is another more fundamental connection between them. This can be summarized by the term »bildnerisches Denken« and it seems more appropriate to analyze both processes together. This article provides an analysis of »bildnerisches Denken« in its various functions and furthermore exemplifies one of these by giving some pictures as examples.

Kleine Kulturgeschichte des Menschenbildes
Author: Constantin Rauer
This essay delineates the 40.000 year-old history of the human image, as reflected through philosophical anthropology. It begins with the earliest depictions of women and men (›Swabian Venus‹ and ›Lion Man‹), and ends with today’s icons: Madonna, Michael Jackson, Schwarzenegger. History demonstrates that images which humans made of their own kind used to be images of masks: during the Stone Age, we find masked shamans; in ancient civilizations, there are masked Gods and idols; in the Middle Ages, masked saints and icons. In the modern era, finally, man himself becomes an icon, and hence, is masked. The unveiling of the human image in modernity appears ambiguous, as the scientific human image turns anthropology into entropology: the flood of human images is accompanied by the loss of a cohesive idea of man. By an irony of fate, it is precisely biology and ›life sciences‹, which carry the destruction of the human image to the extreme. Now that the natural sciences have failed to depict man adequately, as did religion, we face the question anew: which human image do we want, and how can we reframe it.

›A Skin Deep Creed‹
Author: Jennifer Daubenberger
This paper is based on research findings of a not yet finished and thus unpublished dissertation on the general reception of Tattooing in Contemporary Art. It illustrates the phenomenon of linking the themes Faith and Tattooing in Contemporary Art to each other and, in regard of this, proposes possible reasons by offering a short historical overview, a discussion on the current Tattoo Cult, and an analysis of its common social characteristics. While reading this text the reader will encounter questions to which he will find no answers but it shall be mentioned that this is no negligence by the author but rather a necessary measure. The reader’s view is to be opened up for the unusual form of image a Tattoo represents and furthermore is to be enabled to see beyond its mere superficial appearance. Tattoos are of sign-like character, they want ›to be read‹ and one may rightly recognize this type of images as an independent visual language.

›Grammaticalization‹ within Pictorial Art? Searching for Diachronic Principles of Change in Picture and Language
Author: Sonja Zeman
Based on theoretical and methodological considerations regarding the interrelationship between picture and language with respect to their diachronic development, the article deals with the question whether and to what extent the process of grammaticalization as a general principle of language change can be likened to the development of narrative pictures. Against this background, it is argued with respect to a broader perspective of image science that a level of comparison for picture and language can be found within a functional-relational semiotic account.

The Descent of Art: The Evolution of Visual Art as Communication via Material Culture
Author: Larissa M. Straffon
This paper starts out by offering an analysis of three highly topical and influential evolutionary approaches for the origins of art: The first goes back to Darwin and suggests that art, like the peacock’s tail, was shaped by sexual selection to attract the opposite sex. The second proposal suggests that the main adaptive function of art is to attract and share attention, thereby promoting social cohesion and increasing the overall fitness of the group. The third model advances that throughout evolution, visual art has helped organize mental structure and enhanced cognitive abilities – e.g. memory and learning. By contrasting these models against evidence of artistic behaviour from the archaeological record of the Upper Pleistocene – 127-10,000 years before present, and especially from 100-30,000 BP, it becomes evident that none of them can fully account for the emergence and development of visual art as it is reflected in the archaeology. Based on that analysis the present work argues that: 1) Many important issues regarding the evolution of visual art in particular have not been attended by existing models, for which an account that is compatible the archaeological record is still lacking. 2) It might be fruitful to pursue an alternative evolutionary scenario for visual art, in which this trait is conceived of as a communication signal in the form of stylistic variation in material culture. 3) An evolutionary model based on communication, material culture, and style can generate preliminary predictions for the emergence and development of visual art in the Pleistocene, some of which will be outlined.

Bild, Geste und Hand. Leroi-Gourhans paläontologische Bildtheorie
Author: Toni Hildebrandt
Le geste et la parole (1964), the philosophical magnum opus of the French paleontologist André Leroi-Gourhan, offers an astonishing observation of theoretical relevance for the debate on the origin of images: at the very beginning of pictorial figuration lies the abstract gesture of the homo pictor. Leroi-Gourhan reconstructed the origin of the images thus from an emergent »Birth of graphism«. His implicit image theory in Gesture and Speech thereby preludes important approaches in the current debate on the origin of visualization, like the deconstruction of the drawing act (Derrida/Nancy), the anthropology of communicative action (Tomasello) and the philosophy of technology and exteriorization (Stiegler).

Tagungsbericht zur Internationalen Fachkonferenz Ursprünge der Bilder (30. März - 1. April 2011)
Author: Claudia Henning
[Thema des Artikels]

Authors: [none]
[Thema des Artikels]