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Mirror affect: seeing self, observing others in contemporary art

Mirror affect: seeing self, observing others in contemporary art

Albu, Cristina, author

For decades, contemporary artworks with reflective properties have stimulated public forms of spectatorship. According to Cristina Albu, these artworks, which can include elements such as mirrors, live video feedback, or sensors, draw attention to affective interdependence and mechanisms of social control. In 'Mirror Affect', Albu provides a historical account of mirroring processes in contemporary art and offers insight into the phenomenological and sociopolitical concerns that have inspired artists to stage processes of affective, perceptual, and behavioural mirroring between art viewers

Paperback, Book. English.
Published Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016
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Available: Newton Park

  • Newton Park – One available in Art Collection 701.18/ALB

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    00361262 Art Collection 701.18/ALB Standard Available


Statement of responsibility: Cristina Albu
ISBN: 1517900069, 9781517900069
Intended audience: Specialized.
Physical Description: 272 pages : illustrations (black and white)
Subject: Reflection (Optics) in art.; Graham, Dan; Art and Design.; Eliasson, Olafur; Audiences; Mirrors; Lozano-Hemmer, Rafael; Art, Modern 21st century Themes, motives.; Visual perception in art.; Self-portraits; Art, Modern 20th century Themes, motives.; Jonas, Joan


  1. Contents
  2. Introduction: Seeing Ourselves Seeing
  3. 1. Mirror Frames: Spectators in the Spotlight
  4. 2. Mirror Screens: Wary Observers under the Radar
  5. 3. Mirror Intervals: Prolonged Encounters with Others
  6. 4. Mirror Portals: Unpredictable Connectivity in Responsive Environments
  7. Conclusion: Networked Spectatorship
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. Notes
  10. Index

Author note

Cristina Albu is assistant professor of contemporary art history and theory at University of Missouri-Kansas City.


"Teeming with insights, Mirror Affect is a long-overdue reevaluation of artworks with mirroring and reflective properties. Cristina Albu argues that the tension between the private and the public, self and other, opens up a conflicted space, but one that is necessary to construct a new, revitalized sense of the social."—Colin Gardner, University of California, Santa Barbara

"Mirror Affect is a detailed and timely analysis of the materiality of contemporary installation art, disclosing how the artworks' mirror structures build intersubjectivity as the spectators experience them."—Christine Ross, author of The Past is the Present; It’s the Future Too: The Temporal Turn in Contemporary Art


"Mirror Effect is an interesting reading to researchers in the joined field of art, science, and technology."—Leonardo Reviews