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

thomas.haigh at gmail.com thomas.haigh at gmail.com
Fri Oct 8 16:53:11 PDT 2021

Thanks Jacob,


I ordered my copy earlier in the week, and am waiting patiently for the overtaxed supply chain to pull it into my mailbox. 


Checking the 4S 20% discount link, https://go.mitpress.mit.edu/en-us/4s2021?utm_campaign=FY22_Exhibits_4S <https://go.mitpress.mit.edu/en-us/4s2021?utm_campaign=FY22_Exhibits_4S&utm_content=181406244> &utm_content=181406244 I see that other books featured by SIGCIS members include:


*	Your Computer is On Fire (hot selling anthology with contributions from many SIGCIS stalwarts)
*	Eric Hintz’s American Independent Inventors In An Era of Corporate R&D
*	Morgan Ames’s The Charisma Machine (winner of our Computer History Museum book prize)
*	And, ahem, the rather intriguing new title A History of Modern Computing by Haigh & Ceruzzi


Plus several other books related to AI, algorithms, and data that will undoubtedly be of interest to many of our members.


Best wishes,





From: Members <members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org> On Behalf Of Jacob Gaboury
Sent: Friday, October 8, 2021 3:26 PM
To: sigcis <members at sigcis.org>
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] NEW BOOK, Image Objects: An Archaeology of Computer Graphics (MIT Press, 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.  <https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/image-objects> Image Objects: An Archaeology of Computer Graphics 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


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

 <http://www.jacobgaboury.com/> jacobgaboury.com/


Image Objects: An Archaeology of Computer Graphics (MIT Press, 2021)


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