Buildings as Translators of Damage

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A presentation from my seminar paper entitled "Earthquake in View" - explores the symbolic representation of disaster images from Charleston\'s 1886 Earthquake.

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  • Buildings as Translators of Damage

    1. 1. Earthq uake in View A Case Study on of Calamity in the Visual Repres Public Photograph entation s from quake Charleston's 1886 Earth by Perry McKenzie olbert Mentor: Dr. Lisa T Hibernation Hall. No. 33 of Earthquake Views by George L. Cook
    2. 2. Hibernation Hall. No. 33 of Earthquake Views by George L. Cook
    3. 3. Hibernation Hall. No. 33 of Earthquake Views by George L. Cook
    4. 4. wns “We have not b uilt our cities or to have no with earthqua kes in view. They my, as it place in ou r domestic econo ecome were, a nd if they are to b be common, every day affairs, it is to p out of feared that th e bottom will dro st before our artificia l civilization almo we know it.” - The Atlanta ust Constitution, Aug 29th, 1886 Hibernation Hall. No. 33 of Earthquake Views by George L. Cook
    5. 5. Cook's Earthquake Views of Charleston and Vicinity. Taken after the 31st of August, 1886. No.143,
    6. 6. Caption: 'Cook's Earthquake Views of Charleston and Vicinity. Taken after the 31st of August, 1886. No.85, Chapel Street.'
    7. 7. Charleston Earthquake Scene. Possibly from Cook's Earthquake Views, No.56, Alderman Murray's residence, Wentworth Street.'
    8. 8. Choosing Which Photographs to Analyze Public vs. Scientific and Artistic Private Commercial Value Natural Problems Disaster ...
    9. 9. Choosing Which Photographs to Analyze Public vs. Scientific and Artistic Private Commercial Value Prob lem Natural Disaster ... s
    10. 10. The Collections Commercial Scientific Original USGS Slide “Hibernation Hall,” George L. Cook’s photograph. Earthquake Views, No. 33 “St. Michael’s,” Plate:/Zuni 14. USGS’s photograph, available in digital collection .
    11. 11. Understanding Context: The “Mental Picture” Public’s experience with disaster photographs St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. From photographs of the Federal Navy and seaborne expeditions against the Atlantic Coast of the Confederacy, 1863-1865. Social Biases that Would have affected public’s interpretation Visual Intentions of Photographer 1865. "Charleston, South Carolina, after the Bombardment. Ruins of the Cathedral of St. John and St. Finbar. *Layout Digita"y Created
    12. 12. Understanding Context: The “Mental Picture” Public’s experience with disaster photographs St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. From photographs of the Federal Navy and seaborne expeditions against the Atlantic Coast of the Confederacy, 1863-1865. Social Biases that Would have affected public’s interpretation Visual Intentions of Photographer 1865. "Charleston, South Carolina, after the Bombardment. Ruins of the Cathedral of St. John and St. Finbar. *Layout Digita"y Created
    13. 13. Understanding Context: The “Mental Picture” Public’s experience with disaster photographs St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. From photographs of the Federal Navy and seaborne expeditions against the Atlantic Coast of the Confederacy, 1863-1865. Social Biases that Would have affected public’s interpretation Visual Intentions of Photographer 1865. "Charleston, South Carolina, after the Bombardment. Ruins of the Cathedral of St. John and St. Finbar. *Layout Digita"y Created
    14. 14. Understanding Context: The “Mental Picture” Public’s experience with disaster photographs St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. From photographs of the Federal Navy and seaborne expeditions against the Atlantic Coast of the Confederacy, 1863-1865. Social Biases that Would have affected public’s interpretation Visual Intentions of Photographer 1865. "Charleston, South Carolina, after the Bombardment. Ruins of the Cathedral of St. John and St. Finbar. *Layout Digita"y Created
    15. 15. Analyzing the Photographs Themselves Commercial Photography: George L. Cook
    16. 16. Analyzing the Photographs Themselves Commercial Photography: George L. Cook Cook's Earthquake Views of Charleston and Vicinity. Taken after the 31st of August, 1886. No.8, U.S. Court House.'
    17. 17. How the Photographs were Presented: no textual explanation or introduction inside horizontal printing provides optimum room for image playful font and text formatting shows commercial value visual disarray of cover layout represents earthquake playfulness shows entertainment not scientific purpose
    18. 18. Earthquake Views: Churches as Symbols First Four Pictures: Thumbnails of “Before” accentuate the dramatic contrast. Well known churches within the community. Full page printing unlike images later in book which are 2 per page.
    19. 19. Symbolic Representation: Imbedded & Intentional Interior of Unitarian Church (Earthquake View No. 15)
    20. 20. Beauty in Ruin: Buildings as Visual Stories of Calamity *Layout Digita"y Created
    21. 21. Scientific Photographs: The United State Geological Survey (USGS) All images provided by USGS Photographic Library, Charleston Earthquake Collection
    22. 22. “Perfect and Fair Records?” ew” rthqu ake Vi ’s “Ea eL . Cook Georg Retouched USGS Report Photo as it appears in Actual Page Layout
    23. 23. Retouching for Clarity: A Subjective Decision Original Photo Retouched USGS Report Version
    24. 24. Retouching for Clarity: A Subjective Decision Original Photo Retouched USGS Report Version
    25. 25. e Reliability of “Scie ntific” Retouching Th Be aware of Subjec tive Origins!
    26. 26. e Reliability of “Scie ntific” Retouching Th Be aware of Subjec tive Origins!
    27. 27. for Disaster: Calamity as Spectacle Market
    28. 28. Photography of Natural Disaster: Buildings as Translators of Damage Wrought

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