In October I posted about Graziano Cecchini , who dyed the Trevi Fountain red in an effort to protest the Rome FIlm Festival. Recently Cecchini struck again, sending “half a million multi-colored plastic balls” down Rome's Spanish Steps.
So I'm not surprised to see that this particular aesthetic has made its way onto the runways and into the designs of John Galliano; I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner (maybe it has? anyone?). What's interesting to me is the particular form these designs take, with their unmistakably medieval inflection: these designs are as much about the Inquisition as they are about Guantanamo. Is this trenchant (or maybe obvious) political critique, drawing a connection between the draconian measures of the Bush administration (so barbaric! so medieval!)? Or does it go too far, making light of serious infractions by implicitly connecting Lynndie England with court jesters and clowns?
No Caption Needed has posted a brilliant analysis of the theatricality of presidential campaigns.
Jim Wilson/New York Times
From the post:
You are looking at a photo from last week of Fred Thompson stepping onto a stage in Prosperity, South Carolina. The long view allows us to see the candidate as part of a scene, rather someone around whom everything else is compressed. The view also isolates each part of the scene: candidate, bunting, handler, local supporter, and wife-and-kid are each identifiable as if pieces of a grade school diorama. What is most revealing, however, is that we see both stage and backstage in a single view. What would have been The Candidate framed by the Red White and Blue becomes instead a tacky stage set–hey, don’t trip on that cord! And instead of those gathered in his name, we see instead wife-and-kid waiting in the wings, or waiting to make their entrance, but either way now bit players that make Thompson no more than the lead in the school play.
Submitted by LaurenMitchell on Sun, 2008-01-20 02:10
If you're interested in amateur photography or early twentieth century life in the U.S., check out this site Square America. The site consists of collections of photographs found at garage sales and flea markets of American life during the first three quarters of the twentieth century.
The Library of Congress has created its own Flickr homepage and posted 3,000 public-domain photos to the site. This first collection of the LOC’s 14 million images is part of a pilot project called “The Commons.” The images are labeled with the photographer’s name and short descriptions, but the LOC is relying on Flickr’s users to provide tags for the images.
This is a fantastic idea. Not only is it great for the public, who will have easier access to these images, it should be great for the LOC, who are offloading to resource-intensive tasks—cataloguing and hosting the images—to a service that will do them both for free.
Yahoo! has created a political dashboard that collects primary and poll information in a real-time, interactive interface (click on the image for a larger view). I’ve been playing around with this tool since the beginning of the year, and I’ve found the way it mixes different kinds of information to be helpful in following the campaigns.
Lucaites at No Caption Needed has posted an interesting analysis of the recent dustup between the U.S. and Iran in the Strait of Hormuz. According to Lucaites, the argument that the Bush administration has tried to make about the incident through the images—photos and video—released by the U.S., “relies upon two optics or visual logics, one drawing upon a Cold War consciousness and the other drawing upon the logic of the ‘suicide bomber.’ ”