Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

Memory Loss

So a Norwegian novelist posted Nick Ut’s 1972 photograph of a naked Vietnamese 9-year-old fleeing a napalm attack, and Facebook took it down.

Neither the algorithm that flagged the photograph as inappropriate nor the moderator who reviewed that decision understood what the photograph meant when it was first published, says Jessica:
When you see an image that is not a contemporary image, it’s not implicit that you can contextualize its power, its origin, how it actually mattered at the time it was taken… It’s probably fair to that many people looking at it do not understand why it was so powerful.
Over time, iconic images lose their specificity, which is how the destruction of the Twin Towers becomes a mattress commercial.

Also mentioned:
  • the First International Beauty Contest Judged by Artificial Intelligence
  • The Guardian, A beauty contest was judged by AI and the robots didn't like dark skin
  • The Moth Radio Hour, Data Hacking for a Date
  • Susan Engel, Context Is Everything: The Nature of Memory
  • Video: 9/11 mattress sale
  • Gothamist: Florida Walmart Criticized For 9/11 Sales Display Made Out Of Coca Cola Boxes; British Teens Win Halloween Contest As Burning Twin Towers
  • Video: iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in 107 seconds
  • Steven Izenour, America's Square
  • NYU physicist Maryam Modjaz
  • Pablo Ferro, Doctor Strangelove trailer
  • Mina Markham, Pantsuit: The Hillary Clinton UI pattern library

  • Subscribe to The Observatory on iTunes or your favorite podcast app
  • Follow Design Observer on Soundcloud
  • Review The Observatory in the iTunes Store
  • Tell your friends to listen

  • Posted in: The Observatory

    Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

    Jobs | July 19