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Cabin Fever 2015: Bits & Pieces (2)

I confess, with a shudder but of my own volition, that I agree with the Fox News decision to publish “Healing the Believers’ Chests,” the complete 22:34-minute ISIS video of the burning alive of captured Jordanian pilot Muadh al-Kasasbeh. I watched it there — not for thrills, but because (a) as a citizen of the country that ISIS has declared its mortal enemy I want to know the threat that confronts us, and (b) I feel obligated as a critic to actually experience work in its entirety, no matter how difficult its content, before considering and commenting on it. […]

Cabin Fever 2015: Bits & Pieces (1)

Casting as I do a wide net in my efforts to understand visual communication, and the ways in which lens-derived imagery fits into that larger puzzle, and thus the issues that criticism of such imagery must needs address, I find myself pondering all kinds of “floating things.” Forinstance, the perplexing fact that, apparently, men and women see colors differently — which would suggest that women make color photographs differently than men do, and, as viewers, react to them differently than men do. […]

World O’ Gizmos 2014 (2)

As I see it, with every new device and every new app that I incorporate into this setup I challenge Murphy’s Law to bring it on. And while little can go wrong with a stovetop espresso maker or a pair of jeans, or a vintage crockpot or clock-radio, even the simplest digital device has both hardware and software vulnerabilities. If it participates in the much-touted “internet of things” then add the possibility of hacking to the list of “whatever can go wrong.” […]

World o’ Gizmos 2014 (1)

Make no mistake about it: The people involved in inventing, developing, and marketing these devices and apps consider no single area of your physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual existence sacrosanct. There is no corner of your conscious or unconscious life that they do not feel free to invade and colonize. They want to own you as a digital consumer, waking and sleeping, 24/7/365, leap years included, cradle to grave. Coming soon: subcutaneous digital implants. You read it here first. […]

After the Kodak Century (2)

The irony, of course, is that instead of getting devastated by the digital evolution the Eastman Kodak Corporation could have owned it. The very first digital camera, after all, got born in one of Kodak’s own labs, the invention of one of its engineers, Steven Sasson, in 1975. […]