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A couple of weeks ago I posted four Library of Congress photographs (attributed to Russell Lee) of Tule Lake internment camp .

In follow up, I encourage you to check out the 200+ images of Tule Lake by Carl Mydans on the Google/LIFE archive. Mydans took these for a LIFE Magazine feature in 1944. [More down the page]

I am especially drawn to the photographs in which Mydans’ presence cannot be ignored – a blinding flash,or fixed stare. Are some of Mydans prints are attempts to be poetic? The scenarios for other prints seem invasive. [More, scroll down]

Mydans’ success was his portraits; his reportage of the interactions between internees and authorities appear to be staged. Maybe pictures were staged, or maybe authorities just fidgeted in front of the camera?

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For more about Japanese-American Internment during WWII, refer to the Densho archive of video-recorded oral testimony paired with images and documents of the time. It is the most thorough archive I know of.

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Found via International Center for Photography, FANS IN A FLASHBULB blog:

Kevin Van Aelst for The New York Times

Kevin Van Aelst for The New York Times

I posted about Google’s collaboration with LIFE Magazine a few months ago. I – like many folk – were excited to dig in, ferret about and generally enjoy the visual culture of decades past. It seems the novelty has worn off for some. An excellent diatribe, Photo Negative, in the New York Times last week made the point succinctly.

“When Google first announced on its blog that the Life archive was up, it seemed like another Google good deed: rescuing the name of Life magazine and the glorious 20th-century tradition of still photojournalism. But Google has failed to recognize that it can’t publish content under its imprint without also creating content of some kind: smart, reported captions; new and good-looking slide-show software; interstitial material that connects disparate photos; robust thematic and topical organization. All this stuff is content, and it requires writers, reporters, designers and curators. Instead, the company’s curatorial imperative, as usual, is merely ‘make it available’.”

Prisoners watching baptism of repentant killer, in Harris County jail, TX, US. March 1954. Credit: John Dominis. ©2008 Google

Prisoners watching baptism of repentant killer, in Harris County jail, TX, US. March 1954. Credit: John Dominis. ©2008 Google

With little in the platform or functionality to inspire users, Google could find visitors’ perusal time shrinking. Users might face unavoidable limits to their search time and patience. 15 minutes?


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