Not for the glib of heart, No Caption Needed’s recent post, Punctuated Equilibrium in the Photographic Record, was an invigorating read as well as a wake-up call to bloggers like myself, who need to step up their online critical writing game. There’s a place in the blogosphere for everybody, but No Caption Needed is starting to look a little lonely in the brainy end of the cafeteria. “Punctuated Equilibrium” poses a provocative question about the subtle worldview of popular photojournalism: “Is civilization the norm, with violence a marginal adaptation, or is violence the general characteristic of the population, punctuated occasionally by selective adaptations toward peace?”
Also spotted in the refreshingly wordy and well-composed annals of the internet is LA photographer Charlie White, whose essay “Minor Threat” investigates Gary Gross’ 1975 nude photo of then-10-year-old Brooke Shields, as well as the reverberations that were set into motion when Richard Prince rephotographed the image and christened it Spiritual America.
After all that reading, relax into Sunday with this 1940 classic, Elmer’s Candid Camera (considering it, perhaps, in relation to Sontag’s “In Plato’s Cave.”)