This was one of those rare weeks each year when all attention, and eyes, turn to a single iconic history-making image. The first-ever photograph of a black hole not only captured global attention, but also raised debate and interest around the individuals and methods that converged to document what many scientists thought was “unseeable.” As usual, I find these moments both fascinating, but also very telling of our culture’s continued obsession with photography, the photographer, and the medium’s promise of truth-telling. It also reminds me of a fantastic book I reviewed many years ago, No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy by Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites. Therein the authors analyze nine iconic photographs while reflecting on how the images way of entering the public discourse impacts both meaning and collective memory that the image triggers for future audiences.
My choice of links for this week’s roundup run the gamut, from a look at the high-stakes world of academic hiring, and the continued politics of art donors and the art world’s response, to tactics to ward off fascist thought when you see those around you being brainwashed (the Atlantic article was eye-opening indeed!). I also include a great editorial on the arrest of Julian Assange, a look at the controversy over LACMA’s new building (I love a good fight over built space!), and a peek at the recent Art Basel Hong Kong. And since Game of Thrones is back on our screens, I round out the links with a look at one of the production crew whose job it is to make visible and visual what is in the show script. Enjoy the links and have a great week!