The title of this 1914 Russian lithograph translates as “War in the air.” I can’t make out the text at the bottom, but according to the bibliographical data online at the Hoover Institution Poster Collection (item RU/SU 365) it “describes modern aerial warfare.” Photoshopped.
Source: “A Mississippi River packet, Memphis, Tenn.,” 1906. Detroit Publishing Company Collection, Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/det/item/det1994012004/PP/. Photoshopped.
Source: Slavic and East European Collections, The New York Public Library. “Vstupaite do Chervonoi Kynnoty!” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1917 – 1921. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-83ae-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99. Photoshopped to restore color. The Ukrainian text translates as:
And after more Photoshop surgery, the cavalryman looks like this.
One is wearing a bow tie, one is wearing a clerical collar. Those are as close as this array of images will get to an idea of the extreme. The photographer Fabian Bachrach took a uniform group of subjects – powerful white male Americans during the Cold War years – and represented it, component by component, in a uniform way. He was one of those artists like Vivaldi with his concertos or Morandi with his still lives of bottles who created generously within the limits of a single form. In the aftermath, Google has sorted his creations into a grid.
Viewed online, framed by the bezel of a monitor, the grid loses its cell-by-cell distinctions. It becomes a single picture made up of repetitions of a single picture: a complement to Bachrach’s single mode of composition, a mosaic of just one compulsively relaid tessera. The compulsion hasn’t just shaped the grid, either; it has locked the tessera into its own tessera-form. Not even if it’s pried out of the grid can it regain its pre-grid human content. Before it entered the grid, that content depicted a man within an aura of historical reference symbolized by (for instance) a title: President Dwight D. Eisenhower; Senator John F. Kennedy; Professors Edwin O. Reischauer (of Harvard) and Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (of Harvard). But the grid is a barrier against aura. To the image, it admits only indices of visual data: areas of light and shade bounded by height and width. And whatever it is that can be named within the grid won’t be named Dwight or John; it will be named wallet-size print. Forever after, it will be speakable of only in grid language.
But within that language an image may still mean. It won’t mean within an aura; it will mean within the grid. Consider, for instance, this portrait of an aged, FIV-positive feral cat. It’s large, but if it were shrunk to tessera-size, couldn’t it take its place seamlessly within the Bachrach array?
And then wouldn’t the cat live on in there – live on as a someone, without a name but with a history not of what he has done outside the grid but of what he is within?
Jason D. Greenblatt, Donald Trump’s lawyer, sends a threatening letter to Trump’s ghostwriter.
Source: Jane Mayer, “Donald Trump Threatens the Ghostwriter of ‘The Art of the Deal,'” The New Yorker 20 July 2016. http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/donald-trump-threatens-the-ghostwriter-of-the-art-of-the-deal