We live in an age in which text is gradually losing ground to the image. People read less and spend ever more time in front of the computer screen or the TV. Events and personal lives are no longer only documented in reports, letters, or diaries, but also with digital cameras and video recorders. The fast-moving images of MTV continue to exercise increasing influence on youth culture. Images obviously have a certain directness, accessiblity, and attraction that puts them at an advantage in the competition to grab the audience’s attention. To stimulate an exchange of ideas about this contemporary situation, six writers, scholars, and experts were invited to devote an essay to the problems and potential of visual culture, examining questions of digitization, reproduction and authorship, the influence on our historic consciousness, and the impact on expressive traditions. Published in conjunction with The National Institute for Photography in the Netherlands.