Nearby Café Home > Art & Photography > Photocritic International

Election 2012: Image World

Mitt Romney, still from fundraiser video 5-15-12, screenshot.

Mitt Romney, still from fundraiser video 5-15-12, screenshot.

As if to demonstrate the ongoing centrality in global culture of the lens-derived image, still photographs and videos and photomontages and photocollages played a major role in the 2012 presidential election. The types of imagery involved range widely, from the photo IDs for voter authentication demanded by Republicans to secret recordings of Mitt Romney speaking to wealthy donors at a $50K-per-plate fundraiser, presumably made by an Obama supporter. Add to that the visual imagery projected by the party conventions, plus the images evoked by the candidates and their campaigns, and you have quite a rich mix.

As a citizen, I’ve followed presidential campaigns for over half a century. But I’ve never tracked one in my professional role as a photography critic and commentator on new media. Better late than never, say I. You’ll find my responses via the links below, the most recent first.

  • Mormonism and the Negro, John J. Stewart, 1960, cover.

    Mormonism and the Negro, John J. Stewart, 1960, cover.

    Election 2012: Image World 14 (November 10, 2012): In which I continue my “post-season wrap-up” of the election, discussing the images that emerged on Election Day and thereafter. With a consideration of “The Image of the Mormon.”

  • Election 2012: Image World 13 (November 8, 2012): In which I begin a multi-part “post-season wrap-up” of the election, discussing the images that emerged on Election Day and the two days thereafter. With a consideration of “Campaign Imagery as Cubist Collage.”
  • Election 2012: Image World 12 (November 4, 2012): In which I report in advance the thorough trouncing given to Willard Mitt “47 percent” Romney and Paul “Wonkboy” Ryan by Barack Hussein Obama and Joe Biden.
  • Paul Ryan pumping iron, December 2011. Photo by Gregg Segal. Screenshot 10-20-12.

    Paul Ryan pumping iron, December 2011. Photo by Gregg Segal. Screenshot 10-20-12.

    Election 2012: Image World 11 (October 25, 2012): In which I take note of Clint Eastwood’s pointless pro-Romney ad, Paul Ryan’s pumping-iron portraits, and the recurrent images of white men telling rape victims to suck it up and have the babies.

  • Election 2012: Image World 10 (October 23, 2012): In which I review all four debates (three presidential, one vice-presidential) in terms of the images they generated, noting especially the “binders full of women” and “bayonets and horses” memes.
  • Mitt Romney Style parody, CollegeHumor.com, 2012.

    Mitt Romney Style parody, CollegeHumor.com, 2012.

    Election 2012: Image World 9 (October 18, 2012): In which I weigh Paul Ryan’s use of a soup kitchen as a quick-stop photo op, and mull the conversion of “working class” to “poor.”

  • Election 2012: Image World 8 (October 16, 2012): In which I link racist GOP images of Obama to racist postcards from the early 19th century produced by the company run by William Henry Jackson, question rumors about Romney-Ryan going “Gangnam Style” in a music video, and discuss the unsettling misuse of the term “optics” in political discourse.
  • Election 2012: Image World 7 (October 5, 2012): In which I conclude my assessment of the evangelical Christian agitprop film trailer Innocence of Muslims, summarizing what’s known to date about its genesis, production, and sponsorship.
  • Election 2012: Image World 6 (October 3, 2012): In which I continue my assessment of the impact on the presidential election of the the right-wing Christian film trailer Innocence of Muslims, raising the question of whether the feature-length film this promotes actually exists.

    "Innocence of Muslims" (2012), title card.

    “Innocence of Muslims” (2012), title card.

  • Election 2012: Image World 5 (October 1, 2012): In which I begin an assessment of the impact on the presidential election of the film trailer Innocence of Muslims, the nominal cause of violent protests throughout the Islamic world, noting that Mitt Romney’s embrace of the Christian right implicates him deeply in this production.
  • Election 2012: Image World 4 (September 26, 2012): In which I ponder the possibility that Romney enhanced his tan with facial bronzer to Latinoize himself prior to appearances before Hispanic-American audiences, and take seriously (with certain conditions) the Republican demand that voters present photo IDs at the polls.

    Christopher Stevens, Benghazi, Libya, Sept. 12, 2012. Photographer unknown.

    Christopher Stevens, Benghazi, Libya, Sept. 12, 2012. Photographer unknown.

  • Election 2012: Image World 3 (September 19, 2012): In which I consider the visual imagery, both still and video, emergent from the crisis in Libya sparked by a ridiculous anti-Muslim propaganda film, as well as the covertly made video of Romney disparaging the lazy, shiftless “47 percent” of Americans whose votes are already lost to him.
  • Election 2012: Image World 2 (September 9, 2012): In which I turn my attention to the Democratic  National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, once again assessing the effect of the visible demographic of the convention’s attendees while also commenting on the projected “beer buddy” quotient of Obama-Biden vs. Romney-Ryan.

    Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, screenshot, September 1, 2012.

    Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, screenshot, September 1, 2012.

  • Election 2012: Image World 1 (September 3, 2012): In which I weigh the imagery projected by the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, including the visual impact of the visible demographic of the convention’s attendees, while not overlooking Clint Eastwood’s introduction of his now-famous “Eastwooding” meme.
Print Friendly