The three images produce an eery effect, moving from a more focused but low-resolution image of a man amidst smog to a mid-density, mid-range black and white image of a polluted cityscape and then finally to a color image, in higher resolution and at a greater distance. I wish I had lingered longer before I read the caption. The author mentions that the movement through time should be implicit and then I wondered whether I noticed it. I think for me it was produced through the coloration and changing resolution of the images, but I wonder whether that was a retroactive observation after reading the comment.
My vision stays focused on the white space.
My vision is drawn to the faces of each of the people in the image.
Those small metal rods are remarkably disorienting. That is likely a good thing when you are making imagery/meaning out of the National Socialist past.
My sight is first pulled to the single syringe on the top and in the middle of the image. I then notice the jumble underneath.
This image has a lot to look at. I was first drawn to the gaping whole in the ground, wondering exactly what it was that I was looking at. Next I noticed the people caught in action, working at this construction site. One can tell that it is a considerable undertaking, but it is not obvious (at least not to me) what exactly is being undertaken.
I am compelled to read the first set of words (in purple) before looking at the rest of the image. Then, I looked at the photo of the nuclear family behind the text. Finally, I read the punch line, written in red at the bottom.
Interestingly enough, the freeway was least significant as a visual focal point. To me, the structure of the fence, the trees, and the blue skies factored more prominently than the freeway. The centrality of the freeway to this ethnographic site came more from Ariel’s descriptive summary and not initially from the image itself. My gaze initially gravitated upward towards the iron fence. It reminded me of prison barbed wire, the U.S.-Mexico border[lands], and my own work in Palestine-Israel. The fence as a marker of separation, figurative and literal, captured my attention more so than the freeway beneath it- despite the fact that the freeway itself acts as a separator as well. The perspective from the lens makes it such that the freeway exists at a distance, evoking a form of detachment from the position of the viewer. Thus, the fence obstructs and somehow limits the ultimate (visual) toxicity resulting from the freeway below. It perhaps guards the freeway. After the iron fence, my initial views focused on the surrounding trees, again, they too, act as deflectors from the freeway. The trees produce an environmental counter-narrative that is only challenged by the pollutants resulting from the toxins released into the air and soil. The trees offer an aesthetic to the toxicity that, at least ostensibly, lessen the environmental harms. Like the trees, another natural backdrop is the bright blue, Southern California sky that overwhelms the image. Its perfected hues of blue obscure the invisible toxins weighing its atmospheric layers. The fence, the trees, and the sky work to make distant the freeway. It does nothing. In fact, offers a solution, a livelihood connecting folks from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’. Almost banal.
My eye was immediately drawn to the the large bold letters "fuck raw." I then processed the image of the pill and the rest of the advertisement to understand that it was marketing the drug PrEP as a way of preventing the transmission of HIV. I then began to notice the context, how the add plastered onto wooden panels running along a brick wall. I can see the graffiti in the background, the trash and leaves building up in the crease between the panels and the black granite floor. You can also see the edges of other advertisements and get a sense of the series of adds lining what appears to be a sidewalk in a downtown area. It is a small-yet-complicated image with lots to explore. In the end, however, my eyes gravitated back towards the photo's powerful statement of sexual freedom.
Although the explanation centers around the inevitability of lead exposure for the man on the bicycle, I felt that the strength of this image was that the truck seemed to be coming towards me, the viewer. The direction of the oncoming truck seemed to pull me into the image, making me feel the unavoidability of toxicity. Very powerful.