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UPDATE: We have a winner! Congratulations goes to Paul Le Tourneau who was randomly selected as the winner of a signed copy of Banned on the Hill!
Banned on the Hill
While reading and absorbing James’ essays, I was reminded of the term infotainment, which Jon Stewart used to describe the likes of Fox News. Infotainment also aptly describe The Daily Show but with a different sentiment. Instead of being a news show designed to entertain for the sake of ratings, The Daily Show is a comedy show that also happens to inform—Banned on the Hill does the same. James sees art as a way to deliver the truth yet leave room for personal interpretation and opportunity to decide for one’s self:
“The wonderful opportunity we, as visual artists, have is to help people understand complex issues by presenting information in ways that people can better absorb it.”
In her essay What is Harper afraid of?, James includes the above image to help people “remember and really feel the scale of the tankers navigating the skinny channels in B.C.” By juxtaposing information from a graph against a familiar scene, James makes the numbers real. The reader now imagines a tanker standing on end in the middle of NYC and the data come alive.
To the skeptics, please note that she’s not exaggerating. This size comparison is a point of pride for the American Petroleum Institute and it is in fact plainly graphed on page 5 of its promotional material. Continue reading