Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
March 26, 2017

TrumpCare Road Rage: Our Weekly Social Media Roundup

When historians look back, how much will they we appreciate the constant anxiety and the emotional whiplash of life under Donald Trump?  Will they really understand the cultural effect of Trump’s compulsion for drama, his rampant impulsivity, his chronic aggression and his rapid mood swings?

On a fact sheet, last week’s agenda doesn’t seem all that diagnostic. The House was attempting to hammer out new health care legislation in light of the Republican’s sweep of the last election. The Senate was considering the nomination of a new Supreme Court judge. And the House was also holding hearings to defend the integrity of American elections in the cyber age. Looking back, I just hope the historians will also note the defining visual of the week, and the fact that the media and a large swath of social media knew it at the time. It came from Trump’s White House photo-op with those truckers. That futile/fuedal healthcare exercise might still have been hours away from it’s ultimate immolation, but the photo does full justice to the hysteria and the immaturity.

Surveying the wreckage, we also look at Paul Ryan at both ends of Trump’s roller-coaster. We note some awkward photos from the tragic attack near London’s Parliament, wondering if the presence and awareness of the camera has reaching a new level. As a runner-up for an all encompassing “photo of the week,” the smashing of the television also receives our honorable mention. The road rage theme also surfaces in an old Magnum photo. With a White House as hostile and impulsive when it comes to actual war and foreign casualties already on the rise, journalist safety is also a heightened concern. Finally, we close with a more animated, and a slightly more nuanced look at that cyber future.

President Donald Trump climbed into the cab of a Mack truck parked on the lawn Thursday to welcome trucking industry representatives to the White House. March 23, 2017 Photo: Reuters

In the old days, what might slightly impede a journalist’s view was the otherwise widely recognized and respected “PRESS” windshield sticker or antenna flag. #Repost @magnumphotos ・・・ “We wanted to create a truly immersive experience of being Michael at the time of the events depicted in the project and taking that journey with him that hopefully would leave the viewer in a better place.” Producer and curator Liza Faktor, who has been working with Michael Christopher Brown on ‘Libyan Sugar’, curates a selection of images from the Magnum Photos archive and offers her advice on transmedia storytelling. Link in bio. Faktor will be presenting at the Magnum Professional Practice workshop in New York with Peter van Agtmael on April 1 & 2. PHOTO: Libya. 2011. © @michaelchristopherbrown/#MagnumPhotos #MichaelChristopherBrown #war #warphotography #photojournalism #media #press #pressfreedom @faktorl @committeetoprotectjournalists @spj_pics @opensocietyfoundations

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If it wasn’t bad enough already, our widget future. #Repost @whywelook

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The scar. An eyebrow hair out of place. The way parts of the face and head blend into shadow. But mostly, the light in the eye, and the way the the mouth spells a certainty vulnerability. (Read below.) #Repost @nytimes ・・・ In the middle of a 4-decade career as a photographer and filmmaker, Max Aguilera-Hellweg (@xfilm7) decided to go to medical school. He photographed hundreds of surgeries before beginning to make portraits of #robots. “When I photographed surgeries I would ask, ‘What does it mean to be human?’” @xfilm7 of @instituteartist told @104bx of the @nytimes #Lensblog. He found himself in the same place while photographing “these pieces of metal and rubber.” His subjects range from skeletal humanoids — used as stand-ins for humans in dangerous settings — to geminoids that resemble a specific person. He didn’t end up practicing medicine, but his knowledge of #anatomy made him well-suited to photographing robots. He approached them as if he were in a portrait session, spending hours to try to reveal what exactly about them resembled humans. “I would spend a day just to take one picture to get that exact angle where there is one bit of life,” he said. “Where I could say ‘Yes, I’ve seen that gesture before. That is human.’”

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Photo: Reuters Caption: President Donald Trump climbed into the cab of a Mack truck parked on the lawn Thursday to welcome trucking industry representatives to the White House. March 23, 2017.

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