Falling in Love with Statues
Artificial Humans from Pygmalion to the Present
By (author) George L. Hersey
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Falling in Love with Statues by George L. Hersey
Book DescriptionIf, as a child, you conducted conversations with beloved dolls, or if, as an adult, you have entered virtual worlds inhabited by digital humans who inspire devotion in real people, you have participated in one of humanity's most potent yet least explored traditions. Falling in love (and out of love) with statues, George L. Hersey reveals, has helped us since antiquity to understand, improve, and empower ourselves.Hersey's history of statue love begins in Cyprus, home of the legendary sculptor Pygmalion, who famously grew enamored of his own creation. Examining the island's prehistoric images of Aphrodite - the love goddess who brought Pygmalion's sculpture to life - Hersey traces the origins of statue love back to the Cypriot followers who adored her terra-cotta likenesses. He goes on to explore ideas about human replicas in the works of Empedocles, Aristotle, Lucretius, and Ovid, whose definitive account of the Pygmalion myth introduced the notion that statues have the potential to induce physical responses in their viewers. Finding avatars of Ovid's living image in everything from pagan idols and early Christian statuary to eighteenth-century painting to modern action figures and marionettes, Hersey concludes by investigating the concern that these automata will eventually replace humans.In the process, he narrates a powerful history of artificial life at a moment when - with the development of robot soldiers, ever-more-sophisticated genetic engineering, and a continually expanding digital universe - it seems more real than ever.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780226327792
(254mm x 178mm x 20mm)
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 3-Jul-2009
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author George L. Hersey
Architecture and Geometry in the Age of the Baroque, Paperback (February 2003)
The age of the baroque - a time of great strides in science and mathematics - also saw the construction of some of the world's most magnificent buildings. Hersey explores the interrelations of the two developments and how they cross-fertilised.
Monumental Impulse, Paperback (April 2001)View all books by George L. Hersey
Art historian George Hersey investigates the many ties between the biological sciences and the building arts.
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Author Biography - George L. Hersey
George L. Hersey (1927-2007) was professor emeritus of art history at Yale University. His many books include Architecture and Geometry in the Age of the Baroque and High Renaissance Art in St. Peter's and the Vatican, both published by the University of Chicago Press.
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