Marvin Heiferman: Photography changes everything
Photography Changes Everything—drawn from the online Smithsonian Photography Initiative—offers a provocative rethinking of photography’s impact on our culture and our lives. It is a reader-friendly exploration of the many ways photographs package information and values, demand and hold attention, and shape our knowledge of and experience in the world.
At this transitional moment in visual culture, Photography Changes Everything provides a unique opportunity to better understand the history, practice, and power of photography. The publication harnesses the extraordinary visual assets of the Smithsonian Institution’s museums, science centers, and archives to trigger an unprecedented and interdisciplinary dialogue about how photography does more than record the world—it shapes and changes every aspect of our experience of it.
The book features over three hundred images and nearly one hundred engaging short texts commissioned from experts, writers, inventors, public figures, and everyday folk—Hugh Hefner, John Baldessari, John Waters, Robert Adams, Sandra Phillips, and others. Each story responds to images selected by project contributors. Together they engage readers in a timely exploration of the extent to which our lives have been transformed through our interactions with photographic imagery.