The “Me” in Media

Is media the boss of me? Or am I the boss of it? What we communicate internally—whether in dreams, fantasies, fears, or aspirations—are to some degree written large upon the billboards, headlines, screens, and ads of our civilization. In this sense, inside media becomes inside me. —  Tom Cooper, Professor of Communication, Emerson College. What we […]

Acknowledgment

An expression of gratitude for an action or achievement Dr. Albert Sabin As part of a prime-time medical series for television called A Matter Of Life, producer David George and I filmed Dr. Sabin in his Washington, D.C. lab. An entire program was devoted to his development of the oral polio vaccine, which played a key […]

XXI. Texture

Texture influences how we experience the world through the sense of touch—directly. The tactile sense is so acute and pervasive, images of texture are enough to elicit an experience vicariously. This makes it an important tool for communication and creative expression. When looked at up close or under a microscope, what makes an object textured […]

XII. Vectors

Vectors have different meanings and applications in mathematics, biology, psychology, computer science, and other fields. Because the application considered here is their use as an aesthetic tool,  a vector will be considered any visual element that guides the viewer’s eye within or around a frame. I think of them as lines of force that give […]

XI. Line

In geometry, a “point” is a single location. A “line” is an extension of a point, an elongated mark, a connection between two points or the edge of an object or situation. Artist Paul Klee said, “A line is a dot out for a walk.” Practically speaking, lines serve to define length, distance, and shape. […]

Silence

  Precious silence often accompanies a fresh and heavy snowfall. The contrast between it and the sounds we normally tune out, calls our attention to it. We go outside to watch and listen closely. We even seem to breathe easier as the snowflakes make a barely perceptible sound. Before the shovels and snowblowers come out, before […]

Stop! Pay Attention

Whenever I bring up this image it reminds me to pay attention to the commonplace items and situations that tend not to be seen or are easily passed over. It may be the act of seeing beyond looking, more than anything else, that enriches the present moment. Brief acts of perceiving are the visual equivalent […]

Presentation

  Many years before I was introduced to the Ancient Maya, a little book by Erving Goffman entitled, “The Presentation Of Self In Everyday Life,” set me on the path of becoming an armchair anthropologist. Actually, it may have been his insights that sparked my later interest in the Maya, in part because their kings […]

The City

  Dictionaries tend to define a “city” as an inhabited place of greater size, population or importance than a town or village. While size is a factor, social scientists emphasize that a city represents the collective consciousness—beliefs, values, aspirations and visions—of the people who live and work in a center of commerce and culture. Reflecting on […]

Particularity

  Linda and I have been visiting outdoor antique shows in the summer months for many years. While she looks for an occasional curiosity for the house or a gift, I look for objects to photograph. Although the above image was made in the studio—and neither object was obtained at a fair—it calls to mind an […]