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They were there

While attending the “60 from the 60s” exhibit at the George Eastman House, I encountered this photo.  What I found interesting is the irony of the photographer taking a photograph of a person taking a photograph.  This photo reminded me of the perfect example from the “Images and Evidence” concept from the Sturken & Cartwright “Scientific Looking” reading.  This image is evidence that people were present at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in 1969.  As far as proving who was there may be a difficult if not impossible task as there is not one visible face in this photograph.




I found this image ironic as well but I think most images of people taking images are ironic. If this image was in the newspapers or the press, the photographer probably took down the names of most of the people in the shot and asked what their take was on what was going on at the Space Center.

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We used the same image, so I suppose I’ll pose a question which interested me in my post. Why have the American public been much less receptive to images of space today than it was forty years ago, even though the images we have today are far more impressive by many measures? I think that in the 1960s, people saw pictures of the Lunar Lander, and the Space Shuttle, and NASA’s space suit designs, and were blown away. There was a palpable sense of importance to the work that NASA was doing.

Today, we get regular images from Hubble and the Mars rovers — staggering, mindblowing pictures that reach back to the infancy of the universe — and very few people even bother to take ten seconds to look at them. Worse, there’s a persistent refrain that funding space exploration is a waste of money, and we should abandon the program altogether.

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