Thursday, May 1, 2008

Can I scan your zebra?

What didn't Tim Flach get right about this image? OK, in all fairness some might say it's a little obvious, but I'd rather live in a world with this photograph than one without. As the art director George Lois once observed, an image had better have an idea. Here we have several: First and foremost is the notion that mankind's "order" has become a cold, towering backdrop that looms over Nature. The zebra's visual vocabulary has been echoed in the UPC symbol, but only in the name of commercial profit. Notice how the barcode stripes show none of the individualism of the zebra's. Industrialized "bottom line" systems generally shun "interesting irregularities" and so they're shaved off in the name of a mass-produced "perfection." Walk on Equus quagga, before they slap you with a social security number and a backbreaking full time job!

("Zebra Head Down" by Tim Flach)

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