Tuesday, August 16, 2011

diederick overbeke

diederick overbeke's 'family of man reversed' project takes all of the images from edward steichen's infamous family of man exhibition that opened at the museum of modern art in 1955 and feeds them through the very contemporary google search by image function, showing us the dissonance between the original images and the top search results.

over the years the family of man exhibition has been widely criticized as a reductionist and universalist american propaganda tool sent out to tour the world by the u.s. government's information agency during the cold war as a symbol of american values. overbeke's project interestingly opens up a potentially parallel critique of google, whose search by image function uses mathematical models based on shapes, lines, proportions, colors and other such elements yet clumsily responds to nuances of the photographs and their meaning--well illustrated by overbeke's image results. see more of 'family of man revisted' here and the rest of diederick's work here.

[all diederick overbeke. from the series family of man revisited. top to bottom photos alternate between original family of man photo and below it the corresponding google search by image result.]