William J. T. Mitchell
[Writer, theorist, and architect, b. 1944, Melbourne, Australia, lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.]

 We are surrounded by pictures; we have an abundance of theories about them, but it doesn’t seem to do us any good. Knowing what pictures are doing, understanding them, doesn’t seem necessarily to give us power over them. 

David Hockney
[Artist, b. 1937, Bradford, England, lives in Bridlington, Yorkshire; London; and Los Angeles.]

 All religions are about social control. The church, when it had social control, commissioned paintings, which were made using lenses and when it stopped commissioning images, its power declined, slowly. Social control today is in the media—and based on photography. The continuum is the mirrors and lenses. 

Marshall McLuhan
[Writer and theorist, b. 1911, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, d. 1980, Toronto, Canada.]

 Photography turns people into things and their image into a mass consumer product. 

Joe Rosenthal
[Photographer, b. 1911, Washington, D.C., d. 2006, Novato, California.]

 It has been done in oils, water colors, pastels, chalk and match sticks. A float based on it won a prize in a Rose Bowl parade, and the flag-raising has been re-enacted by children, by gymnasts... and as a part of the Orange Bowl pageant in Miami. It has been sculpted in ice and in hamburger. (On his photograph of U.S. Marines raising the American flag on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima.) 

Geoffrey Batchen
[Photohistorian, b. 1956, Australia, lives in Wellington, New Zealand.]

 Human experience comes suspended in the sickly-sweet amniotic fluid of commercial photography. And a world normally animated by abrasive differences is blithely reduced to a single, homogeneous National Geographic way of seeing. 

Andy Warhol
[Artist, b. 1928, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, d. 1987, New York.]

 [My vision of America is] a good vision. Actually the best is on TV. I wanted to shoot all the pictures off the TV. No one would have known the difference. 

Andy Grundberg
[Critic, curator, and educator, lives in Washington, D.C.]

 The photograph suggests that our image of reality is made up of images. It makes explicit the domination of mediation. 

Barbara Kruger
[Artist, b. 1945, Newark, New Jersey, lives in New York.]

 Pictures and the words that mark or surround them seem to construct and contain us. From photos to movies, to TV, to home videos and computers, these pictures and words have the power to tell us who we are and who we aren’t, to dictate what we can and cannot be. But they also suggest that seeing is no longer believing and that what you see is not what you get. 
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