What does it mean to be literate in the 21st century?
Stephen Apkon, executive director of the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, provides some answers in his new book “The Art of the Image: Redefining Literacy in a World of Screens” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, April 16).
The 288-pager makes the argument that it is important for everyone to be visually literate, particularly with today’s technological advances. Apkon pushes for the integration of digital literacy into our daily lives and the school curriculum, setting out his vision and the ground rules for joining the digital age and becoming a member of the new literacy.
In the book’s foreword, Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese writes: “‘The Age of the Image’ lays out the tools we need to cultivate our awareness of and attention to every message and every gesture, artistic or opportunistic, expressed in print or in pixels. It’s not just a plea for literacy, but a wonderful road map and guide for how it can be taught and nurtured.”
The Jacob Burns Film Center is hosting “Pulp Fictions: Crime Novels on the Big Screen,” which I wrote about in WAG’s January “Turning the Page” issue. Look for my take on erotic movies – and why they don’t make ’em like they used to – in February’s “Voluptuaries” issue.
– Sam Barron