Tag Archives: media/visual literacy

Hank Willis Thomas on Black Male Identity

Re-blogging from photoandimaging.net

“What Is Common to All of Us?” Redefining Black Male Identity
by Hank Willis Thomas
Creative Time Reports.

Drawing from his collaborative transmedia project “Question Bridge: Black Males,” the artist Hank Willis Thomas examines the racial context of the 2012 killing of Jordan Davis as the man who shot the 17-year-old Florida resident, Michael Dunn, is retried for murder.

Screenshot from “Question Bridge: Black Males,” a collaborative transmedia project of Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas, Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair.

Every person has a “day of infamy” in his or her life. For the parents of Jordan Davis, that day was November 23, 2012. For the parents of Trayvon Martin, it was February 26, 2012. For the parents of Michael Brown, it was August 9, 2014. For me, it was February 2, 2000—a Tuesday. That was the day I lost Songha Thomas Willis, my cousin, roommate, best friend and, for all intents and purposes, big brother. He was shot dead in front of dozens of people during a robbery in which he did not resist. [read more]

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{Proud to say that Hank was a alumnus of Photography & Imaging and a student in my senior projects class.}

about Selfies

[Reblogging] About Those Callous Selfies — by Michael Shaw, BagNews Notes

photo: Manu Fernandez/AP

You’ve seen them before. You’ve seen them in war zones and funerals, even. More often than not, they result in disdain — or head scratching, at least —  for the apparent soullessness and narcissism. This is just the latest I’ve seen. It appeared, in all it’s blasphemy, as the leadoff photo in The Atlantic “In Focus” Photos of the Week slideshow on Friday.  Documenting the perceived insensitivity, the caption reads:

Tourists take a “selfie” as demonstrators burn a trash container during a May Day rally in Barcelona, Spain, on May 1, 2014. Tens of thousands of workers marked May Day in European cities with a mix of anger and gloom over austerity measures imposed by leaders trying to contain the eurozone’s intractable debt crisis.

How dare these tourists (ugly Americans, perhaps?) denigrate the anger and gloom of tens of thousands of European workers?

Well, I’m not prepared to say that this photo or its innumerable cousins have any moral implications at all.  What is clear is that these types of photos need to be understood on two completely independent levels. [read rest of article]

 

Racism as Style: The Return of Blackface

Important read in BagNews Notes:
Racism as Style: The Return of Blackface — BagNews

by Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa
(adapted from the Tumblr blog, The Great Leap Sideways)

Excerpt from essay > “On Tuesday of this week, the British creative arts website It’s Nice That published a feature on a photo-shoot by French multi-disciplinary studio Akatre entitled Tropical. The images consist of two young naked women painted entirely (and unrecognizably) black, stood in front of a brightly patterned tropically-themed seamless backdrop, or reflected in the smooth dark mirrored surface of a black table…” [ read more ]

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Happy to learn about thegreatleapsideways.com and greatleapsideways.tumblr.com, Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa, editor. The sites showcase contemporary photography with small and extended surveys of work by contemporary photographers alongside extended interviews, features, videos and extracts from texts that illuminate the practise of photography and its wider context. Looks like a great resource.

Teaching The Camera To See Skin Color

[Reblogging this interesting piece from Buzz Feed]

Teaching The Camera To See My Skin by Syreeta McFadden – BuzzFeed

I was 12 years old and paging through a photo album; my memories of the days seemed to fade in the photo’s recreation. In some pictures, I am a mud brown, in others I’m a blue black. Some of the pictures were taken within moments of one another. “You look like charcoal,” someone said, and giggled. I felt insulted, but I didn’t have the words for that yet. I just knew that I didn’t want to be seen as a quality of a dark black that would invite hatred on my skin.

A year later, it was 1988 and the overhead kitchen light burned the dullest yellow as my mother placed four proofs on the table from an Olan Mills photo session. Each wallet-sized print contained various permutations of my little sister, my mother, father, and me. She wanted to know what we thought.

I considered each of the images. I couldn’t see my face. “Why do I look so dark?” [read more]

Mirror of Race

The Mir­ror of Race Project, a place for reflec­tion on the mean­ing of race in Amer­ica — its past, as well as its present and future.

Here you will find both a main exhi­bi­tion of early Amer­i­can pho­tographs as well as exhi­bi­tions on spe­cific top­ics.

You will also find crit­i­cal com­men­tary in var­i­ous forms, such as essays and film.

Enter

Basetrack: Conversation with Teru Kuwayama

Basetrack: Conversation with Teru Kuwayama – Aperture Foundation NY

In 2010, after many years of covering the war in Afghanistan, freelance photojournalist Teru Kuwayama received an invitation to embed with the First Battalion of the Eighth Marine Regiment in Helmand Province. Although it was only the start of the counterinsurgency campaign, it was the tenth year of a long and costly war that carried on at a far remove of the daily lives of Americans in the United States. Along with four other photographers, Balazs Gardi, Tivadar Domaniczky, Omar Mullick, and Rita Leistner, Kuwayama decided to approach the embed differently, and started Basetrack, a social-media reporting project conceived to connect Marines and their families and to target the social network—friends, family, and online presence—surrounding the battalion. Most of the pictures were taken with mobile phones or inexpensive consumer-grade cameras and distributed through Basetrack’s WordPress website (being rebuilt), Flickr, and Facebook, the main Basetrack channel. [read conversation]

Basetrack vimeo channel

NY Times Lens Blog article on the project 

Another article at Graffiti of War 

>> And Teru Kuwayama is Facebook’s first Photo Community Liason.

selfiecity

selfiecity.

Selfiecity investigates selfies using a mix of theoretic, artistic and quantitative methods:

  • findings about the demographics of people taking selfies, their poses and expressions.
  • Rich media visualizations (imageplots) assemble thousands of photos to reveal interesting patterns.
  • The interactive selfiexploratory allows you to navigate the whole set of 3200 photos.
  • Finally, theoretical essays discuss selfies in the history of photography, the functions of images in social media, and methods and dataset.

The project is part of Lev Manovich’s Software Studies Initiative  that covers two directions:
1) Study of software and cyberinfrastructure and their deployment in modern societies using approaches from humanities, cultural criticism, and social sciences.
2) Use software-based research methods and next generation cyberinfrastructrure tools and resources for the study of massive sets of visual cultural data, asking theoretical questions which are important for humanities.

I Dream of Selfies – article on project in Hyperallergic

 

Hot Internet TVs on Frozen Winter Days

Hot Internet TVs on Frozen Winter Days
by Alicia Eler on Hyperallergic

Media theorist Marshall McLuhan once said that television is cool and radio is hot. This isn’t a temperature thing, but rather a classification of media based on the participation it involves from viewers — TV watchers can be more detached, whereas radio listeners are completely engaged. In the installations of artists Nam June Paik and Gretchen Bender, though, TV becomes the central, interactive medium. As the temperatures this week hovered in the negatives, I channeled heat by sipping tea and watching TV as video art from my global perch on the internet.
read more

 

British Library Releases 1M Images into the Public Domain

British Library Releases 1M Images into the Public Domain

from British Library Science Fiction SetEarlier this month, Open Culture pointed to a big move from the British Library: the library is putting a million images into the public domain. Accessible on the library’s sprawling Flickr account, these images’s copyright statuses are marked as “ < a href=”http://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/”>no known copyright restrictions.”

…A quick glance at Flickr’s Commons listingsshows that the British Library joins other institutions like the Vancouver Public Library Historical Photographs, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the Brooklyn Museum, the Library of Congress, and many more in offering their holdings to the public this way. [read entire article]