While there is something pleasing about seeing the bars jut out of neighborhoods to help visualize scales of smog exposure, there is not enough information in the image itself to make it meaningful. I would suggest providing more bars of other neighborhoods with less exposure to create a topographical effect. I would also suggest including a color code to signal immediately to the viewer what the colors represent economically/demographically.
Dimensions - spatial [frontend/backend], discursive
Scale of analysis - local, micro and mezzo.
Dimensions - spatial [frontend/backend], discursive
Scale of analysis - local, mincro and mezzo.
My favorite thing about the succession of images from number 1 to number 2 is the way the upper greyness and lower redness rhymed. The two business services purport to do absolutely opposite work (cleanup vs. pollution) and yet the accidental convergence of design illustrates how they are both invested in sustaining the same negative ecological paradigm. Bravo! That said, the shift from two portraits to a landscape is disorienting. I'd stick with portrait for the third, which you can do simply by editing the third into a portrait. Also, cut off that white strip on two edges of this image.
The dimension captured in this image is most obviously spatial: "the juxtaposition of the space reserved for community use and well being amidst environmental hazards and everday exposures," as Jerome Crowder puts it. The scale is micro (Hartman Park) to mezzo (Hartman Park as synecdoche for similar juxtapositions throughout the Houston/Galveston region).
But this spatial juxtaposition is also a juxtaposition of temporal registers: petrochemical production and residential recreation, the refinery and the park.
I am guessing the toxic tour itself, through the itinerary it traces from site to site, must constitute (implicitly or explicitly) a spatialized argument about chronological progression, necessity/contingency, and/or other aspects of temporality and causality within the history of toxicity in Houston and Galveston. I think that sequence of images capturing itineraries of toxic tours could be a fantastic resource for analyzing the temporal arguments and affordances within such sequences of "juxtapositions of space".
I would be really interested to see how such an visual investigation of the urban (/suburban/exurban) geography and temporality of toxic exposures sits alongside arguments of this sort grounded in zoning and emissions data, e.g. Frickel and Elliott, Sites Unseen (2018). For example, I bet that the toxic tour presents a complementary perspective on the localized long-term phenomena that Frickel and Elliott refer to as "industrial churn" and "residential churn," in their ecologically-inspired account of how the "succession of cities" reveals and obscures the residues of past toxic activities.
Reading this photograph alongside Frickel and Elliott, we can ask whether the unseen hazards of toxic residues in the soil underneath the park, legacies of forgotten industrial activity of the past, might merit every bit as much concern as the visible hazard posed by the petrochemical facility across the fence.
This image is usefu as an ethnographic text in so far that the author does well in explicating the socially contingent impact of exposure to lead to particular communities. In addition, while the map is primairly focused on macro-level data, the author does a strong job of describing how the forms of knowledge contained in the map are bound to the way poisoning is obscured from the general public. By doing so, the author is implicitly revealing how this (state/local) failure to visualize toxicity is prolonging poisoning.
Scale: micro, with description then also macro
The absence of color, the heavy reliance on wood for scaffolding, ladders, and other equipment, along with the style of clothing and absence of safety gear all point to the fact that the photograph was taken many decades ago. The caption further explains that the photo was taken in Germany during the Nazi era. Paul goes on to describe how the meaning of this preserved historical moment has become controversial in contemporary discourses around the meaning of Germaness in contradistinction to Naziism.
In addition to addressing the toxicity of a mass-produced object like the T-Shirt, the image makes a claim about toxicity in on the scale of the domestic as well as personal space. The interpellation of the individual reader is quite clear in the sub-headline. Here, the clothing closet is invoked as an intimate but also opaque space, where toxicity is not expected to be found. This could be contrasted with domestic spaces where toxicity is expected and contained, for example in the garden shack, a bathroom cabinet, or the kitchen sink, where clearly labeled chemical products live. The "closeted" toxicity presented in the image also points to feelings of guilt and hiding from the toxic dimension of one's fashion.
This image captures the discourse around drug use and HIV and therefore induces/enables a meta-analysis of the logics, ethics, and rhetorics being deployed to frame these issues.