Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The President's Slide Show

The genre of the travel slide show gets considerably less attention now in the age of digital technologies that encourage many-to-many photosharing and geotagging activities that integrate travel photography with other kinds of data representation. Yet slide shows continue to be an important rhetorical occasion for many older Americans who document their travels and then share their experiences in exotic locales with others. Even Al Gore describes his presentation about global warming in the film An Inconvenient Truth as a slide show, so ways of thinking about the politics of image presentation often go back to the tropes that pre-date PowerPoint. Visitors to the Africa pages at the White House website this month can see President George W. Bush's slideshow of Africa. Full video of the slideshow is on the main page. Although the images come from official photographers for the White House, Bush's commentary emphasizes visual jokes that relate to his own personal reception and individual wit.

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