Why Words And Abstractions Can Be More Powerful Than Explicit Images

October 13, 2014 12:00 PM

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Why Words And Abstractions Can Be More Powerful Than Explicit Images

In our busy image culture, Yahoo has estimated that 880 billion photographs will be taken this year. The ability to capture, experience, share, search, and recall photographic imagery (still and moving), rests in the pocket of anyone with a smartphone. If you want to see something but don't know what, check your feed on Facebook or Instagram and you'll soon be set. If you're looking for something specific, you will probably be able to find it with a quick search. Even what people believe to be private is sometimes accessible (consider the recent leaks of celebrity nudes). The result is that less and less is left to the imagination -- is left unrealized.

There's an allure to the unrealized, because what is realized -- made visible -- in the world becomes concrete and, even if realized well for one person, may be terrible for another. One example is movie casting: Your ideal James Bond might not be your neighbor's. The unrealized has the potential fo...

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