Object Lesson: Aluminum Co. of America, Louis Klinkscales by Margaret Bourke-White

Featured in NOMA’s exhibition Atomic Number Thirteen: Aluminum in 20th-Century Design, this portrait by Margaret Bourke-White illustrates the hard labor involved in aluminum production. Bourke-White was the first woman war correspondent and the first woman photographer to work for Life magazine. Her photograph of the Fort Peck Dam appeared on the cover of Life’s first issue in 1936, one year after she was featured in a monographic exhibition at NOMA. Read More

A Choice of Weapons: Photography, Surveillance, and Ethics⁠

Gordon Parks famously stated that photography was his “choice of weapons” against racism, intolerance, and poverty. While photographs have certainly been used to document and advance social justice causes in the past, the use of photography in recent protest movements has demonstrated one of the dangers of the medium. While protest photographs have amplified these movements’ messages and visibility, those very same photographs have been used against their makers by other authorities. This panel explored the new emerging chapter in the ethics of photography, considering how the digital, social world has made photography an instantaneous and global “weapon” that can slip easily from one hand to another, and offering guidance on ethical and inclusive approaches to protest photography.⁠ ⁠ Read More

Object Lesson: WATER by Edward Burtynsky

To create the works in his project WATER, Edward Burtynsky (Canadian, born 1955) travelled around the globe, from the Gulf of Mexico to the shores of the Ganges, weaving together an ambitious representation of water’s increasingly fragmented lifecycle. In enormous, color, aerial images, many bordering on the edge of complete abstraction, Burtynsky traces the various roles that water plays in modern life—as a source of healthy ecosystems and energy, as a key element in cultural and religious rituals, and as a rapidly depleting resource. Read More

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