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About the Flaneur
I walk through my blindness the way I wander down streets in Paris: unfettered and alive, alert to the raw material of the senses. I am a flaneur. Come along with me. Just don’t try to take my arm, unless I ask. What’s a flaneur? Read the first post, Return of the Flaneur to Galerie Vivienne. After that, try Foot Rage and the Blind Flaneur. Then stay tuned.
Letting Go of Sight
I’ve canoed on Lake Superior for almost as many years as I’ve been losing eyesight. I return year after year like a migrating loon to learn the other side of a slow, uncertain process that we could call “going blind.” After 35 years with the lake as my teacher, I know what lies on the other side. I call it letting go of sight. Read Big Water. See more about the Great Lakes.
Not This PigIf there is an emerging genetic underclass, I could run for class president or class clown. Read more in Not This Pig (2003).
Media in Transition @ MiT
Disabled Americans today have to negotiate for the kinds of accommodations made for FDR, and the caveat “reasonable accommodation” is built into the law. President Franklin Roosevelt did not have to negotiate. He could summon vast resources of the federal government – money as well as brains – to accomplish the work of disability. And it was accomplished with such thoroughness and efficiency that its scale could be called the Accessibility-Industrial Complex had it been directed toward public accommodations and not solely the needs of a single man. Read FDR and the Hidden Work of Disability [MiT8 2013]
Shepard Fairey claimed that his posterization of a copyrighted AP news photo of Barack Obama was a transformative work protected by the fair use doctrine. In other words, it was a shape-shifter. I claim fair use, too, when I reproduce and transform copyrighted works into media formats that are accessible to me as a blind reader. Read Shape-Shifters in the Fair Use Lab [MiT6 2009]
The social engineers who created a system for licensing beggars in New York never imagined that a blind woman had culture or could make culture. She herself may not have imagined it, either. In the moment when Paul Strand photographed her surreptitiously on the street in 1916, he could not have expected that one day blind photographers would reverse the camera’s gaze. Read Curiosity & The Blind Photographer. [MiT5 2007]
Tag Archives: social media
Move over, Margaret Burke-White. There’s room on that girder for a new generation of daredevil photographers who will take any risk to get the shot. Humza Deas started climbing bridges and skyscrapers in New York City for the adrenalin rush and street creds, documenting his feats with selfies of his shoes. Think of him as a new kind of vertical flaneur, soaring rather than strolling, with a rarefied perspective on the street. Instead of Life Magazine, Instagram is his platform. Now he’s beginning to parlay social media fame into a paying gig. Continue reading →
Via Al Jazeera English: From the media black hole that was Libya, shocking videos illustrate the revolt. Also, South Africa’s best known political cartoonist: Jonathan Shapiro.
Where does curation end and advocacy begin? The Feb. 25 edition of On the Media has two segments with NPR staffers (Sarah Abdurrahman and Andy Carvin) who are pushing the boundaries in new journalism.
On the Media’s Feb. 18 show was recorded before a live audience using a talk show debate format in which the hosts represented two Manichean perspectives on an oversimplified question about the Internet’s role in society. In the show’s second segment, after his name was invoked as the media guru on the Net’s global impact, Ethan Zuckerman walked on stage like Marshall McLuhan in Annie Hall to quip, “I think you just completely misunderstand my work.” Nice gag.Here is the audio embed, and below are several takeaway points from the transcript.
The second part of “Empire” is an excerpted panel discussion held at the Columbia Journalism School in New York City on Feb. 14 in the heady aftermath of Hosni Mubarak’s downfall. The moderator is Al Jazeera’s Marwan Bishara; the panelists are Amy Goodman, Clay Shirky, Carl Bernstein, Emily Bell, and Evgeny Morozov.