What the Discussants Want


1) In making the switch from what do images do to what do pictures want, Mitchell implies a shift from agency to desire.  How are wants and needs different?  Do the images actually lose agency in this shift?

2) Each reading presents a different way in which we are confronted with images from newspapers to art galleries to religious icons, how does the relational context in which we come into contact with images structure our interaction with them? 

3) Pinney noted that “images have had a great freedom to act on their own” (166), but Knappett implies that art is imbued with the artist’s essence.  What is the relationship between the technology of art production and the viewer?  How does this change when the viewer has the opportunity to interact with the art?

4)  When we discussed the fetish, we briefly touched on the possibility of a feminist reading of object studies.  This week, Mitchell writes that “the default position of images is feminine” (35).  How could a feminist reading of what images want be useful?  How could this relocate our understanding of images’ desires and needs?

5) If Mitchell had read Gell’s concept of the distributed mind, how would that have informed/changed his work?

6) Davis argues that by applying Gell’s theory in an effort to give agency to art that we actually end up taking it away by abducting it from it’s material history.  In this context, could the relationship between the artist and the object be seen as a tug of war of agency? Perhaps, could Knappett’s concept of layering and networking be a response to avoid the abduction of the agency of art?  


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