Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Category: 770s

771: Vermeer’s Camera by Philip Steadman


771: Steadman, Philip. Vermeer’s Camera: Uncovering the Truth Behind the Masterpieces. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2001. 165 pp. ISBN 0-19-215967-4.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 700: Fine Arts and Recreation
  • 770: Photography, photographs, and computer art
  • 771: Techniques, procedures, apparatus, equipment, and materials

There have been many times I’ve looked at a piece of art and wondered how they created it. From Escher’s mind-blowing drawings to Calder’s amazingly delicate mobiles, how artists engineer their art is almost as interesting as the art itself. In Vermeer’s Camera, Philip Steadman painstakingly details the use of the camera obscura in Vermeer’s paintings. His investigations not only gives us a peek at the artist’s technique and practical knowledge, but also illuminate the very intriguing intersection of science and art.

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776: Metacreation by Mitchell Whitelaw


776: Whitelaw, Mitchell. Metacreation: Art and Artificial Life. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2004. 237 pp. ISBN 0-262-23234-0.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 700: Fine Arts
  • 770: Photography, photographs, and computer art
  • 776: Computer art

When a computer generates an image, is it art? Can the image be random pixels, or must there be human guidance of what the computer generates? In Metacreation, Mitchell Whitelaw looks at the history of computer-generated and computer-related art from the perspective of both an art curator and a historian. Whitelaw’s first concern is introducing the reader to the field of artificial life art, or “a-life art.” In this case, artificial life is the creation of biological processes in a technological environment, or having a computer simulate complex natural interactions using code and rule sets. Then, using the simulated processes, the artists create works that show how the worlds of technology and biology interact.

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778: Hidden Beauty by Barker and Iacobuzio-Donahue


778: Barker, Norman and Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue, eds. Hidden Beauty: Exploring the Aesthetics of Medical Science. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 2013. 229 pp. ISBN 978-0-7643-4412-1.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 700: Fine Arts and Recreation
  • 770: Photography, computer art, film, and video
  • 778: Specific fields and special kinds of photography
  • 778.9: Photography of specific subjects

The human body is a wondrous thing. This collection of trillions of atoms, combining with billions of bacteria, fungi, and other microscopic life forms, gives each person their space in the universe. Every piece has a function and each piece works with every other piece, giving every person an almost infinite internal universe. But most of the time, we hardly notice. We take it for granted that every organ is working as planned and there when we need it. Norman Barker and Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue, in Hidden Beauty, reveal what lies beneath the surface to show each person’s unique, medical landscape.

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770: Exposed by Claire Lewis

770.92: Lewis, Claire. Exposed: Confessions of a Wedding Photographer: A Memoir. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2008. 321 pp. ISBN 0-312-38189-1.

Dewey Construction:

  • 700: Fine arts
  • 770: Photography
  • +92: Biography

Imagine trying to wrangle through a crowd of half-dressed women, toting a camera bag, wedging yourself into the perfect angle, all the while quietly trying to send instructions to your assistant and not get in the way of someone’s most important day. That’s the general theme of Claire Lewis’s Exposed: Confessions of a Wedding Photographer.

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