Sunday, March 22, 2009

Digital Torture

This article had everything I could want in a blog; political scandal, art, national responsibility, and digital ownership. The debate centers around the Abu Ghraib photos of tortue. It is not uncommon for museums such as the Museum of Modern Art to collect works that were not intended to be art. They have photos of presidents, cultural leaders, and works that symbolized movements like civil rights. When a museum takes a work it becomes part of our history that is preserved. One could argue the value in the photos from Abu Ghraib, we see the most primal and savage stages of man (naturalism). But the other obstacle with these images is that they were JPEGs. A soldier took them and they circled the news as JPEGs. Museums and magazines must decide in the technological age whether they can use JPEGs. It is important photos that where important to the Bush years to be preserved and serve as a reminder of travesties that took place early in the twenty-first century. The images may have a place in a national archives or journalism collection, but MoMA should not let the changing technology keep them from displaying a relevant and important work.

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