237.130 Week 5 TASK 2 – Contextual Understanding

In response to Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. “Images, Power and Politics”. Practives of Looking: An Introduction To Visual Culture.: New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. 9-11. Print.

What I found interesting in this reading is the idea that “looking involves relationships of power” (Sturken, Cartwright 9). The authors explain this in terms of the actions of looking: being made ot look, being seen looking, choosing not to look, etc. And each of these actions expresses the viewer’s power. It creates a politics within images as well as in viewing them. Sturken and Cartwright call this the economy of looking (Sturken, Cartwright 9). This idea is exemplified in Weegee’s The First Murder, where the audience is observing this group of people looking at an event in different ways, and each way they’re looking describes something different about their relationship to the subject. The children are unashamedly staring at the murder, while one woman maturely looks away.


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