Anne Friedberg

The Virtual Window - From Alberti to Microsoft

Vortrag im Rahmen der Konferenz "Frames of Viewing"

Anne Friedberg [link 01]

Anne Friedberg



From the mid 15th century writings of Leon Battista Alberti to the late 20th century computer software trademarked by Microsoft as "Windows", the window has a deep cultural history as an architectural and figurative trope for the framing and mediating of the pictorial image. While the window functioned as a metaphor for a fixed viewpoint through a single frame for Alberti, the "Windows" trope in computer software has become emblematic of the collapse of the single viewpoint, relying on the model of a window that we can't see through; multiple windows that overlap, obscure.

This paper will 1) debate with accounts of the ruptures (the argument of Jonathan Crary) and/or continuities (the argument of "apparatus" film theorists Jean Louis Baudry and Stephen Heath) between Renaissance perspective and the photographic and cinematic camera and 2) argue that while moving image technologies may have provided a challenge to Quattrocento perspective and its concomitant symbolic system by offering multiple perspectives sequentially, it has only been with the advent of digital imaging technologies and new technologies of display in the 1990s that the media "window" began to include multiple perspectives within a single frame.

KünstlerInnen / AutorInnen

  • Anne Friedberg, Professorin für Filmwissenschaften, University of California, Irvine › Biografie [link 02]


  • 17. Mai 2002


Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles und Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.


Haus der Kulturen der Welt, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin, Deutschland

Eingabe des Beitrags

, 22.05.2003


  • Vortrag



Ergänzungen zur Schlagwortliste

  • Metapher |
  • Perspektive |
  • Bildkonzepte |
  • Fenster
  • › Frames of Viewing [link 03]

»…fviewing/c_texte.html [link 04]

  • › Einführung von H. Bredekamp zum Vortrag [RealMedia] [link 05]
  • › Videodokumentation des Vortrags (dt. Übers.) [RealMedia] [link 06]
  • › Diskussion zum Vortrag (z.T. dt. Übers.) [RealMedia] [link 07]
  • › Introduction of the lecture by H. Bredekamp (in German) [RealMedia] [link 08]
  • › Video documentation of the lecture [RealMedia] [link 09]
  • › Discussion after the lecture (partly in German) [RealMedia] [link 10]