What happens in the photographic image? Lots of information of what is captured is lost, some 

information retained, and there is an opening for a kind of interpretation that is specific to this 

type of image. Let’s unpackage the previous sentence. Most of the information that is lost is 

related to motion. Movement, as we all know, is also a form of communication. How one walks, 

the speed with which one turns their head, the motion of one’s arms: we keenly read these 

actions. They convey information about, among other things, the state of the subject: they are 

worried about something; they do not want to talk to me; they do indeed love me; and so on. But 

when the image is frozen in a photograph, we are forced to make interpretations that are at best 

fuzzy or blurry (I would go as far as to say dubby), even if the photograph is crystal clear.

The still subject is immediately a social being. But what is she communicating? What is she 

saying to us? Despite the absence of a lot of useful and crucial information, we are compelled to 

read the photo because that’s who we are as deeply social animals. There’s a good reason why 

many professional poker players wear sunglasses: they know the heart of the human animal, 

know that the human is constantly reading the bodies of others of its kind and beyond its kind, 

know the activities of human eyes release too much information about the content of a soul. But 

what do motionless eyes say? A slice of the many things that one might catch when encountering 

an actual person? Perhaps. But often the motionless eyes and body open a completely different 

vista from the real, a whole other country that does not in reality have anything to do with the 

subject. In motionlessness, the subject has the magical capacity to present the viewer with a life 

that’s not his or her own. Between the stillness of the image and our social need to interpret is 

this opening. This is the zone The Parks Project explores. These other vistas and stories glimpsed 

in that fantastic opening. 

We enter the park. 

This one is Cal Anderson, the social heart of Capitol Hill, a dense and rapidly growing core of 

Seattle. In this democratic space, images have been gathered from a wide spectrum of the city’s 

inhabitants. On each of these stills, a social reading has been imposed. The readings, however, 

most likely have nothing to do with the reality of these subjects. What we see is: an image and an 

interpretation. That’s all. Hopefully this experiment will tell us something unexpected about the 

power of motionless images and the powerful compulsion to interpret.