Piece Comment

Review of "Being Photographed"

Have you ever stood in a room with two mirrors facing each other, showing your image in an infinite series of reflections? That's a bit of the feeling I get from producer Jake Warga's piece, which documents (and reflects) on the process of being documented.

Usually that experience of documentation places us-- and the audience-- on one side of the mic. Occasionally, as a subject ourselves, it can be disconcerting to realize how our words and images are necessarily taken from us in order to share them with a larger audience.

This piece has the twist of holding up another mirror. By documenting in sound while he is being documented in image, the producer cleverly loops the one-way gaze into a Mobius strip of reflection, or at least refraction. His introduction of a microphone turns them both into subjects and documenters at the same time.

His critiques of a rather staged (though gorgeous) background raise interesting questions of authenticity. How close can the documenter-- and the audience-- get to what's real? What are our ethical responsibilities in how hard we try? And yet he's self-reflective enough to turn the analysis back onto himself, and the craft of radio, with an ending that made me smile.