Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Iran 2009: The Mosaic Revolution

For the first time in history, a revolution is being witnessed by a million eyes focused in a hundred-million directions. The events are being captured in low resolution, highly pixilated moving images and then sent over the air to one, then another, and then dozens, and then thousands of relays who post, comment on, and contextualize the events. That this is being accomplished by average Iranians has been made much of by the world’s mainstream press, who themselves have been rendered impotent by the regime’s crackdown on foreign reporters.

The individual images themselves provide an almost Cubist relief and provide the viewers with a sense of how widespread the protest are. Like a mosaic, the multi-source, multi-perspective images each represent a piece of a whole. While each individual shot of a mass gathering of bodies in a street or of the posses of black-clad, baton-wielding motorcycle sentries beating down a bystander will itself tell a story, the full geometry of the moment can only be taken in when the mosaic is seen from a distance. A massive swash of green roaring over dark, masked tyranny.

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