[SIGCIS-Members] NEW BOOK, Image Objects: An Archaeology of Computer Graphics (MIT Press, 2021)

Jacob Gaboury gaboury at gmail.com
Fri Oct 8 13:25:53 PDT 2021


Some of you have very generously mentioned the book on the SIGCIS list
already, but I thought it would be a good idea to officially announce the
release of my book on the history of computer graphics from MIT Press. *Image
Objects: An Archaeology of Computer Graphics*
<https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/image-objects> examines the history of
computer graphics from roughly 1950-1980, with a focus on the
groundbreaking research program at the University of Utah. The book is
based largely on archival holdings at Utah and elsewhere, and follows an
"object-oriented" structure, with each chapter unpacking a particular
technology that shaped the formation of the field of computer graphics, and
which continues to shape the ways we use and interact with computational
technologies today. SIGCIS has been a critical community for this project
since the very beginning, and I am very excited to share this work with all
of you.

The book is also available with a 20% discount
<https://go.mitpress.mit.edu/en-us/4s2021?utm_campaign=FY22_Exhibits_4S&utm_content=181406244>
for the month of October using the code 4S2021!

*Image Objects: An Archaeology of Computer Graphics*
*Jacob Gaboury*

312 pages | 6 x 9 | 133 b&w photos, 20 color plates
Hardcover Aug 2021 | ISBN: 9780262045032 | $35.00

Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter 1:  Culling Vision: Hidden Surface Algorithms and the Problem of
Visibility
Chapter 2:  Random-Access Images: Interfacing Memory and the History of the
Computer Screen
Chapter 3:  Model Objects: The Utah Teapot as Standard and Icon
Chapter 4:  Object Paradigms: On the Origins of Object Orientation
Chapter 5:  Procedure Crystallized: The Graphics Processing Unit and the
Rise of Computer Graphics
Coda:  After Objects

*“With Image Objects, Gaboury has established himself as the leading voice
among a new generation of visual culture theorists. This is a landmark
contribution to the fields of digital culture, media theory, and science
and technology studies."* - Bernard Geoghegan, Senior Lecturer in the
History and Theory of Digital Media, King's College London

*How computer graphics transformed the computer from a calculating machine
into an interactive medium, as seen through the histories of five technical
objects.*

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, television shows, and digital games. In fact, computer
graphics have been around as long as the modern computer itself, and played
a fundamental role in the development of our contemporary culture of
computing. In *Image Objects*, Jacob Gaboury 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—arguing that computer graphics transformed the computer
from a calculating machine into an interactive medium.

Gaboury explores early efforts to produce an algorithmic solution for the
calculation of object visibility; considers the history of the computer
screen and the random-access memory that first made interactive images
possible; examines the standardization of graphical objects through the
Utah teapot, the most famous graphical model in the history of the field;
reviews the graphical origins of the object-oriented programming paradigm;
and, finally, considers the development of the graphics processing unit as
the catalyst that enabled an explosion in graphical computing at the end of
the twentieth century.

The development of computer graphics, Gaboury argues, signals 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.

-- 
Jacob Gaboury (he/him)
Associate Professor of New Media History and Theory
Dept. of Film & Media, University of California at Berkeley
jacobgaboury.com/ <http://www.jacobgaboury.com/>

*Image Objects: An Archaeology of Computer Graphics* (MIT Press, 2021)
https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/image-objects
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