Friday, March 20, 2009

Henri Cartier Bresson - Man and Machine

This collection of photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson on man's continuing dialogue with machines was commissioned by the IBM World Trade Corporation in 1967.

Selection from Forward: "This series of photographs is in its quiet war a partial portrait of mankind–in our close and often subconscious dialogue with technological change...This new relationship appears most dramatically neither in the formal struggle between the engineer and his electronic or mechanical world, nor in the conscious association of the worker with his tools, but rather in the incidental occurrences of everyday life.

I find it funny that IBM commissioned these, because these photographs don't exactly show how wondrous and enjoyable technology has made our lives. They show people befuddled, confused, and fascinated with this new encroachment. I may be projecting my own thoughts here, but I find a certain amount of stress and malaise in these photographs. But most importantly, these are good photographs. H C-B's ability to find the magic in everyday life is undeniable.

Location: 4th Floor
Call Number:TR654.C37 1971
Link to record

Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Texas © IBM World Trade Corporation

Hanover Fair, Germany © IBM World Trade Corporation

Subway, New York City © IBM World Trade Corporation

Hair Salon, Paris © IBM World Trade Corporation

Panoramic Binoculars, U.S.A. © IBM World Trade Corporation

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