The Telling Image: Shapes of Changing Times
Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Best Non Fiction 2019
National Indie Excellence Award Winner
Nautilus Book Awards, Gold
#1 Amazon Best Seller in Architecture History & Periods
Amazon Best Seller in Art Subjects & Themes
Seeing the World Through Shape
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.
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About the Author
Lois Farfel Stark is an Emmy Award-winning producer, documentary filmmaker, and author. During her distinguished career she produced and wrote documentaries on architecture, medical research, globalization, artists, and social issues. With NBC News, she covered Abu Dhabi's catapult to the 20th century, the British withdrawal from the Persian Gulf, Cuba ten years after their revolution, the Israeli Air Force in the Six Day War, Northern Ireland during its time of religious conflict, and Liberia's social split.Stark is the recipient of an Emmy, two CINE Gold awards, two Gold Awards from The International Film Festival of the Americas, and the American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award. She has served as a trustee for institutions in education, health, the arts, and public service, including Sarah Lawrence College, her alma mater. She lives in Houston, Texas.
"Lois Stark is an imaginative thinker--an insightful artist who takes the particular and makes it universal. She is an inspiring guide who discerns patterns and tells a compelling human story."
--Edward Hirsch, poet, president, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
"Lois Stark's committed intelligence brings pictures and stories to life and enables people to see and interpret the world with an enlightened perspective that is increasingly rare in this fragmented and scattered society. Watching her 'connect the dots' is a great learning experience. Stark brings words and pictures full of common sense but confronting the most complex challenges. She presents ideas of extraordinary value to artists, businessmen, and scientists."
--Barry Munitz, former president and CEO, The J. Paul Getty Trust
"Stark allows images to form their own story. This book will be a lot of fun. It will start conversations. It will delight both the eye and the mind."
--John H Lienhard, commentator, National Public Radio; author, Engines of Our Ingenuity and Inventing Modern
"One of the ways to imagine the potential and scope of this project is to think of Lois Stark as a 'Female Joseph Campbell.' A book of great depth and originality."
--Eli N. Evans, president emeritus, Charles H. Revson Foundation; steward and funder of PBS Projects
"Lois Stark has the skill to find order in the vast chaos of our collective history. This book is like donning an old pair of glasses to better see history unfolding before our eyes. It shows us the seeds of change now taking hold and critical clues marking civilization's next step forward."
--George Kaufman, vice-chairman, Omega Institute
"The physical contours of technology, architecture, and settlement intertwine with humanity's understanding of society and the universe, according to this debut photo essay."
"The Telling Image is an all-encompassing vision of the world and meaning making; it is engrossing and inescapable."
"Lavishly illustrated and thought-provoking, The Telling Image should appeal to anyone interested in the world of ideas and the shapes that reflect them."
--Blue Ink Review
"In considering how innovations have helped humans see how the world is changing and how they can build new social structures, Lois Farfel Stark reveals that many clues about that decision-making lie in images and architecture."
--Midwest Book Review, Donovan's Literary Services
"It is human nature to look for and recognize patterns and shapes in our environment; it is what helps us learn about and categorize our surroundings. In The Telling Image, Lois Farfel Stark explores the shapes that define humanity through photography, illustration, and words in a unique and beautifully structured book."
--San Francisco Book Review
"There is real worth in another facet of thinking, another way to view things and the people who engender them."
--Tulsa Book Review
"Author and photographer, Stark has put together an astonishing book that shows her vision of the world as it has been and is today and what the world might be come in the future."
--Seattle Book Review
"Stark explains all of this using photographs and images to prove her point. You can clearly see what she is saying: 'We are what we build.'"
--Manhattan Book Review