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Archive for October, 2008

Tear Down This Wall

With elections around the corner, it seemed appropriate to bring up Swiss artist Simone Niquille whose photographic mashups scramble the images and discourse of politics.

Her altered photos offer degraded versions of historic moments, once filled with import but now just static memories where the words and gestures of politicians break up and disappear.

In this photo of Reagan giving his “Tear Down This Wall” speech in Berlin, Niquille took the first image result on a Google search for Reagan. She converted both the image and the words of the speech into two separate hexadecimal files, then combined the two hexadecimal files to create one new one, then converted the combined hexadecimal file back to an image. Whew. Sounds complex but the result is striking.

Check out her interpretations of speeches by Malcolm X, FDR, JFK, DeGaulle and more.

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In her unsettling photo collages Martha Rosler combines domestic images with snapshots of war. 60s housewives pull the blinds back on soldiers in trenches while teenagers with cell phones yammer as explosions go off behind them. The New York Times recently published a video slide show of her work.

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