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Ends and Odds Encore

Wearing Sadakichi’s Hat

Last week I finally got to do something I’ve planned for years: have some pictures made of myself wearing Sadakichi Hartmann’s hat.

That calls for some explanation.

Scion of a German father and a Japanese mother, Sadakichi Hartmann (1867-1944) was born on an island in Nagasaki harbor. His mother died […]

Spring Fever 2015: Bits & Pieces

We’ve become the first culture to produce substantially more artists with professional aspirations than our system can possibly absorb. Though more egalitarian than most gatekeeping systems, the photo portfolio review system enables entry to a few while feeding the hopes of the many — “American Idol” writ small, if you will. No harm done, I suppose, and it keeps them off the streets. […]

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.” […]