Visu­al Arts

The Telling Image: Shapes of Chang­ing Times

  • From the Publisher
March 31, 2018

How do humans make sense of the world? In answer to this time­less ques­tion, award win­ning doc­u­men­tary film­mak­er, Lois Far­fel Stark, takes the read­er on a remark­able jour­ney from trib­al cer­e­monies in Liberia and the pyra­mids in Egypt, to the grav­i­ty-defy­ing archi­tec­ture of mod­ern Chi­na. Draw­ing on her expe­ri­ence as a glob­al explor­er, Stark unveils a cru­cial, hid­den key to under­stand­ing the uni­verse: Shape itself.

The Telling Image is a stun­ning syn­the­sis of civ­i­liza­tion’s chang­ing mind­sets, a bril­liant­ly orig­i­nal per­spec­tive urg­ing you to re-envi­sion his­to­ry not as a sto­ry of kings and wars but through the lens of shape. In this sweep­ing tour through time, Stark takes us from migra­to­ry humans, who imi­tat­ed a web in round-thatched huts and stone cir­cles, to the urban lad­der of pyra­mids and sky­scrap­ers, orga­nized by hier­ar­chy and mea­sure­ments, to today’s world of inter­con­nect­ed net­works.

In The Telling Image Stark reveals how build­ings, behav­iors, and beliefs reflect humans’ search for pat­tern and mean­ing. We can read the past and glimpse the future by watch­ing when shapes shift. Stark’s beau­ti­ful­ly illus­trat­ed book asks of all its read­ers: See what you think.

Discussion Questions