It's emblematic of the complicated arguments around innovation through barbarous regimes.
This is a strong image precisely for the ways that it forces the viewer to confront the information in the previous slide on U.S. lead poisoning. In fact, playing with the order of the first and second image produces quite different readings depending on the order they are presented. It appears that given the theoretical thrust of the slideshow, it may be interesting to see how placing this image as the first image would create a discussion of the way we visualize toxicity in relation to lead (third vs. first worlds)– the author seems to suggest that this is an important narrative strand given that the current slide lists Flint.
This image was likely chosen because it is a rather blunt and provocative. The add is so simple, yet clear, direct, and thought provoking. It is also remarkably different from any other drug advertisements that I have ever seen, which indicates an appeal to a specific audience. Although the message is clear, I am left with so many questions about who made it and posted it. This delayed satisfaction makes it all the more intriguing and appealing as an image to think with/about.
I think Janelle created this image since it presents two contrasting ideas through a conspicuous illustration. While the banner in the top shows LA school police’s reassuring phrase “Protecting the Children, Our Future,” the illustration at the bottom ironically highlights a sticking figure (numerical value) that one in four arrests made by LASPD are of elementary and middle school students. These two contrasting data cause the audience to infer who the vulnerable subjects are.
Aesthetically, the rhythm and repetition of the image is effective and strong. It shows change and the passage of time, and does provide a feeling of accumulation, or heightening circumstances, with hazardous symbols. The everydayness of the calendar feels real and close-up, and the worsening affect feels critical. It does automatically conjuer ideas about land, however with the green to red spectrum and wildfires parallel to the air quality measured herein. Maybe simple lettering as part of the calendar to label as air? I find the familiarity and the clarity of the image to be very effective in showing scale and progression as well as immediacy and proximity.
This image presents an argument for understanding Watts as a process, not an event, unfolding over an extended period of time (how far could we meaningfully stretch it and weave it). Nor is this history invisible -- powerful images that tell it are there to be found, if you just get outside the assumptions of event-based historiography. Some pretty important arguments about environmental toxicity run in a similar direction, e.g. Nixon, Slow Violence and some of Scott Knowles' arguments. In fact, I see this image as very much in the spirit of the kinds of experimentation with visual genres that Nixon calls for, though it addresses a toxic environment of a different sort (or is it?).
I found it a bit more difficult to arrive at a sense of the specific toxic subject of the second and third images. Perhaps that's the point -- toxic places and toxic boosters run through the history of Los Angeles since the 19th century. Still, I feel like I should be coming away from these images, as I do from the first one, with my conception of history productively unsettled in some way that I can put my finger on. I'm not quite there yet on those two (although the bayonet into Japan is plenty unsettling!).
At first viewing, I was not certain the composition worked at conveying the disrupture happening. However, after looking again, and considering the placing of the text in its homage to horror-camp, it undergirds the jarringly absurd behavior of the president against the reality of suffering experienced by Puerto Ricans everywhere. In many ways, this situation is an example of the loss of words in the face of administrative and popular depravity.
Quite cleverly even in its form as a screenshot, the image manages to evoke a sense of movement and passing of time. Camila frozen in mid-sentence and mid-gesture, the blurring of the passing car, the icons on the screen indicating that this is a still from a film, the viewer is both drawn to the image as a static, bounded piece, while simultaneously urged to imagine the moving whole.