Rachel Lee Annotations

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What does this image communicate -- topically and/or conceptually? Does the image call to mind particular scholarly arguments?

Monday, December 3, 2018 - 7:15pm

The overpass scholarship I know best is an old article by Neferti Tadiar on "flyovers" in Manila.  Unlike that article, this critical framing appears to emphasize that despite the freeway structure being designed for cars and trucks, the neighborhoods through which the 210 freeway cuts through are peopled with flaneurs, so to speak (walkers of dogs, etc.)


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Can you suggest ways to collage, add to the framing, or otherwise elaborate this image to strengthen its ethnographic messaging?

Monday, December 3, 2018 - 7:09pm

I understand that the point of the photo is to show how the freeway is hidden. But it would have been interesting to have a side-by-side of this photo and what is directly below -  to truly juxtapose the two concurrent landscapes.


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Describe your immediate reception or impression of this image (visceral, emotional, intellectual)?

Monday, December 3, 2018 - 7:06pm

At first glance, I noticed how clean the image is. It is clear, with a bright blue background. I was impressed by how clean it is. The critical commentary draws focus to the "trash" on the clean surface and to glimpses of the freeway underneath; however, even the trash (the tin can) is shiny and it's hard to see past the cleanness of the image.


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How is this image “ethnographic”? Would you add anything to this image’s “design statement”?

Monday, December 3, 2018 - 7:02pm

The image is certainly ethnographic in that it attempts to get at the impact of these freeways on the community and society surrounding it. The author can expand more on the juxtaposition of the “clean lines and painted surface” with what is actually happening below.  The detail in the design statement that the freeway cuts off north-south traffic might be moved to the critical essay section, b/c the overwhelming first impression of this photo (to my/Rachel's mind) is that of a penitentiary fence.  It says 'keep out.'  

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How would you describe the image’s subject?

Monday, December 3, 2018 - 6:55pm

The image’s subject is the hidden freeways. The environment appears clean, with the blue skies and freeway overpass, but underneath hundreds of cars are travelling through, slowly emitting toxic fumes to those above.

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What does the image convey about “toxic subjects” (their character, dynamics, etc.)? (How) Does this image open up the concept of “toxicity”?

Monday, December 3, 2018 - 6:54pm

Sheds light on how toxicity is often pushed out of the view, so that the public/society/etc. are not able to truly gauge the pervasiveness of toxic environments. The image captures the invisible nature of toxicity, rendering it a truly insidious social problem - one that we often are unable to see.

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