All In – Buying Into the Drug Trade
Photographs by Graham MacIndoe
The images in this series are of heroin baggies collected years ago during a period of addiction.
I became intrigued by the typography and design of the glassine envelopes used to package dope, stamped with references to popular culture like Twilight, Crooklyn and New Jack City. Dealers branded and marketed their product like entrepreneurs in any business, pairing names like Dead Medicine with a skull and crossbones to appeal to risk-takers, or an airplane labeled First Class to give the illusion of grandeur.
The addict becomes the ultimate consumer of the ultimate product — following a trail of quirky street names carefully chosen to be instantly recognizable to those in the know. But there is nothing hidden about the references to good times (So Amazing, True Romance, Gold Rush), juxtaposed with reminders of the gamble (9 Lives, Black Jack) and the reality of addiction (Flat Liner, Undertaker).
Lou Reed wrote the song “Perfect Day” to describe being on heroin, and that’s what every addict chases. But the marketing of that drug, like any product, doesn’t always lead us to what’s promised. These images are a reminder of both the power of desire and the things we as consumers want to believe will somehow change our lives.
I’m making my debut on public radio, today! The realm of tote bags, fund drives, coffee mugs and responsible public-interest reporting just got a little more real.
I’ll be one of the guests on Think Out Loud, a stalwart of the Oregon Public Broadcasting schedule. I have no idea what I’ll be asked, but I can guarantee I’ll be speaking fast, squeezing in the urgent info, and encouraging people to see the abusive prison industrial complex within our midst.
Midday, August 12th, 2014.
WaPo Journalist Jonathan Capehart writes:
When I wrote first wrote about Trayvon Martin’s killing, I said that one of the burdens of being a black male was bearing the heavy weight of other people’s suspicions. […] I also wrote about the lessons my mother taught me growing up. How I shouldn’t run in public, lest I arouse undue suspicion. How I most definitely should not run with anything in my hands, lest anyone think I stole something. The lesson included not talking back to the police, lest you give them a reason to take you to jail — or worse. And I was taught to never, ever leave home without identification. The reason was not only a precaution in case something happened, such as an accident, but also in case I’m stopped by police for whatever reason. To this day, whether I’m going on a run or just running to get something out of my car nearby, I never step out of my home without my driver’s license, insurance card and my Washington Post business card with my partner’s cellphone number written on it.
"Robots live among us. They toil in factories building cars and electronics. They investigate suspicious packages for the police, perform delicate surgeries for hospitals, and fly above battlefields for the military. They’re also starting to look like us."
"French photographer Yves Gellie has been exploring the anthropomorphizing of machines, and his book Human Version goes inside the laboratories building robots that mimic our appearance and movements.”
Ever flailed your head back-and-forth in front of the camera to catch a blurry selfie? Of course you have. We’ve all captured head-shots of seemingly maddened selves. Kristan Horton’s self-portraits are high-end versions of the blurred selfie … peppered with existential inquiry.
For his series One For Yourself, Horton faces the troubled relationship time and photography head on. Horton says a single photo is too hard to trust, so his animalistic portraits are made by combining multiple images.
“The document is never enough,” says Horton who’s discontent borders paranoia. “I need multiple perspectives to lessen an inner feeling of distrust. I think that’s why I get involved with duration.”
I wrote a piece for WIRED on Grant Slater's two months in Siberia:
"The town of Akademgorodok, nestled among birch and conifers 3,400 kilometers east of Moscow, is becoming a hub for 21st century Russian innovation and entrepreneurship. You’ve heard of Silicon Valley. This is Silicon Forest."
Image: Institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences surround the incubator. Academics there study everything from science to humanities. Anna Bolshakova, a numismatist, reviews ancient Slavic coins she collected during a field expedition for her studies at the Institute of Archaeology. © Grant Slater.
Lorenzo Steele, a former Rikers Island corrections officer, is using public talks and pop-up photography shows in NY boroughs to show youth the violent truth about prison.
Read more about his images, his motives and his results at: ‘Armed with Gory Jail Photos, Ex-Prison Guard Hits New York’s Streets and Advocates for Youth’
I’m looking, this morning, at Delaney Allen’s exhibit up on the online gallery Violet Strays. It’s called "Getting Lost," and the writing which is integral to the piece clearly explains the impetus behind the creation of the piece: the simultaneous loss of a grandfather and a girlfriend.
In this life, the single most valuable asset we have (as we’re told over and over again by everyone) is our time. It’s the one thing we can’t buy more of. And because of that, how we spend it is pretty much the most important decision we make.
So why would I spend time looking at one series…
Martina. © Julie Schönstädt
Photo: David Chancellor—INSTITUTE
Rhinos and elephants are being killed in the thousands, but as David Chancellor’s powerful photos attest, rangers are stepping up.
WHY I LIKE THIS by Chris Harrison
Clap your hands for daddy
Coming down the wagon way,
A pocket full of money
And a bag full of hay.
- Traditional Northumbrian nursery rhyme
Since the invention of photography, history has been reduced to a series of single images. Think of the Iraq War and the image of a hooded figure standing on a box is conjured up. The Jarrow Crusade conjures an image of cloth capped men walking with a banner.
Our culture, seemingly overflowing with so much available visual information, has paradoxically been reduced to a series of visual bites. We have stopped questioning these images. We just reproduce them and they have become memes. So many images tell us the ‘What’ and the ‘Where’. How many images make us stop and ask ‘Why’?
Palmer’s Shipyard closed in 1936. Overnight, Jarrow’s unemployment rate became 72.9% [sic]. There was no safety net. Without work you didn’t eat. And more importantly for the men of Jarrow, their families didn’t eat. Infant mortality in Jarrow skyrocketed.
So for the Jarrow March, what was the ‘Why’? This image, which has been accidentally ‘iconised’ by a newspaper layout artist, is the ‘Why’. The men of Jarrow marched to London because they loved their children.
Chris Harrison was the Bradford Fellow in Photography 2012-2013. His Fellowship culminated with a new body of work, Copper Horses (National Media Museum, Bradford, November 2013 to February 2014). A reflection on identity, class and British industry, the exhibition was the result of Chris thinking about his relationship with his dad and how it has changed over the years. With Copper Horses Chris wanted to “instil a feeling of pride in the skill and creativity of ordinary people in what they do for a living.” His book, I Belong Jarrow (2013), is published by Schilt.
Image: A Jarrow marcher bids farewell to his child, 5 October 1936, unknown photographer / Central Press Photos Ltd © National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA