If you haven’t seen this Nina Berman slideshow, go there now.
I was impressed with the access that Ms. Berman had to her subjects. The soldiers reminded me of the men in No End In Sight. I saw that at Cinema21 just a week ago. It is the best war documentary I’ve seen about Iraq. Far better than Fahrenheit 911. I’ve been re-visiting 9/11 stuff – I picked up the Illustrated 9/11 Commission’s Report that I bought nearly a year ago and read it cover to cover.
And did you know that Errol Morris had a blog?
When I was a little boy I asked my older brother, If you blow up a photograph can you eventually see atoms? Here is one answer. When you magnify a leaf, in principle, you get down to the atomic level of the leaf. But when you magnify a photograph of a leaf, you get down to the atomic level of the photograph. You can keep magnifying the grains of silver-halide and get down to the atomic level of the silver-halide, but you do not see additional detail of the leaf. As a result of this inherent limitation, photographs are nothing more than coarse-grained screens laid over reality, revealing nothing more (about what is photographed) than a certain size. They provide an imperfect simulacrum of the surface of things.
Photography presents things and at the same time hides things from our view. It allows us to not-see at the same time that it allows us to see. But language plus photography provides an express train to error.
My media consumption is converging on war these days.