“And yet, every photograph cries out for an interpretation …”

At his New York Times blog, documentary filmmaker Errol Morris has posted interviews with the head photo editors of the AP, Reuters, and AFP on the photographic record of the Bush administration. Morris asked each interviewee “to pick the photographs of the president that they believe captured the character of the man and of his administration” and then discussed the photos with them along with the reasons each chose the photos they did.

With Standard Operating Procedure Morris has shown an acute interest in understanding the different ways in which the image is used to create reality, along with the ways in which that reality can be interrogated. In these interviews, Morris and each interviewee seem to share a different approach to how these images should be interpreted and what they mean. Although the discussions can sometimes be repetitive, they were a reminder to me of how much my judgments about our last president were based on these photo-ops.

ERROL MORRIS: Yes. Why do you like the picture so much?

VINCENT AMALVY: We don’t understand what is going on. Why does the shadow appear? I suppose it’s a shadow of somebody else beyond the corner. But the picture is only of two guys walking. It’s a profile of George Bush and Barack Obama. And he’s near the Rose Garden of the White House. And so in the back is a shadow of somebody who says, “Bye-bye.” And it is looking like a joke, but it is amazing.

via Word Presser

“Every image has a sound”

Here’s an interesting ad campaign that attempts to connect the visible, the tangible, and the audible:

The economy and design

I saw these two responses to the our recent economic woes on BoingBoing.

The first, posted by guest-blogger Clay Shirky, is a graph showing the distribution of the returns of the S&P 500 in 10-percentage-point increments since 1825. The placement of 2008 adds a chilling perspective to our current crisis.

The second is a humorous response to the proposed auto industry bailout in the form of a car advertisement:

Origins of the bomb

A Chain Reaction of Proliferation infographic tracing the proliferation of the atomic bomb

A recent New York Times article on the invention and dissemination of atomic weapons included the infographic above on the travels of the atomic bomb. The article references some new works on the history of the bomb, noting that it was only invented once:

All paths stem from the United States, directly or indirectly. One began with Russian spies that deeply penetrated the Manhattan Project. Stalin was so enamored of the intelligence haul, Mr. Reed and Mr. Stillman note, that his first atom bomb was an exact replica of the weapon the United States had dropped on Nagasaki.

Moscow freely shared its atomic thefts with Mao Zedong, China’s leader. The book [Robert S. Norris’s Racing for the Bomb] says that Klaus Fuchs, a Soviet spy in the Manhattan Project who was eventually caught and, in 1959, released from jail, did likewise. Upon gaining his freedom, the authors say, Fuchs gave the mastermind of Mao’s weapons program a detailed tutorial on the Nagasaki bomb. A half-decade later, China surprised the world with its first blast.


Naomi Campbell -- not her career, not her art, but her body -- is the subject of Art Photo Expo's contribution to Miami's art festival, Art Basel Miami Beach, this year.

No More Kings

For your Thanksgiving pleasure—Pavement's cover of the Schoolhouse Rock classic, "No More Kings."

Save the date!

Is the cat a nurse? Is the STD it's referring to that sort of STD? What the...

Still getting used to it

Waiting in the HEB checkout line, I stared at magazines like these lined up above the conveyor belt:

First picture is the cover of OK magazine which shows the Obama family.

Second picture is the cover of US magazine which again shows the Obama family.

Poverty as poetry

On Tuesday, November 18, Slate featured pictures by photographer Jonas Bendiksen in "Today's Pictures."

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