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sorabji.com » the big pictures » Paul & Debbie Miller » March 19, 2009

This older picture, which I found while looking for other thing, is from September, 2007. This image of a cassette tape sprawled on the side of the street reminds me of my first days and hours in New York in late 1990. It seemed like everywhere I looked I saw mysterious-looking masses of cassette tape littering curbs and sidewalks. I imagined that cassettes had been disposed of in this manner so as to make unusable the contents of the tape, but not to destroy the tape outright. A dedicated individual looking to receive mysterious communiques would take the tape home, re-wind it onto the roller, re-assemble the cassette mechanism and summon from the gutters a message meant for obscurity. I imagined that these tapes, dramatically disposed of to conceal lurid communications and secrets, had been initially left on answering machines or sent anonymously through postal mail to surprised recipients. The conspiracy continued with the tapes exploded onto sidewalks and curbs and left as treasure for those who understood the code.

Photo sites that I like
Joe Gioia: Visible Republic . my ocular experience . unjouparis . joe's nyc . overshadowed

See my other projects
Stories and Things   People Still Use Payphones   What's the Word?   Found Photos and Slides   My Receipts   Payphone   Abandoned Baby Carriages   Sorabji.com

sorabji.com : the big pictures
The Big Pictures feature at sorabji.com wea born in February, 1999.

The Big Pictures died in November, 2010. This was partly fallout from a server blowout that permanently erased millions of my web pages, thousands of e-mails, and many hours of audio content I had intended to use. Over 2 years later I find that barely a day goes by where I do not encounter some piece of content I wish I had, but which vanished.

As far as The Big Pictures went the timing was propitious. I had reached the end of my enthusiasm for giving away a single marquee picture each and every weekday. The format had grown old and my interest in simply throwing content up for grabs on the public internet had faded. I call it the Judith Griggs effect. Most folks who ever heard of Ms. Griggs have probably forgotten about her by now, but she was a passing target of disgruntled rage when, in late 2010, it was revealed that she filled her print magazine with content scooped liberally and uncredited from numerous Internet web sites. This is hardly unusual in the web space, but Griggs brought the matter to a head by announcing in her own defense that "everything on the Internet is public domain." She was wrong, of course, but only in that pesky realm of legalities. The reality is that Judith Griggs had it right: putting your content up on the Internet is simply throwing it up for grabs. Stealing is the new public domain. Copy and paste is the new public domain. Right-click-and-save is the new public domain.

The daily Big Picture will now be the occasional Big Picture, posted to the top page of Sorabji.com and possibly available for purchase through an as-yet-undecided venue.


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