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Unknown Photographer

Guards at the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council roadblock near Wounded Knee, South Dakota take time off for a game of horseshoes, March 1973
Vintage wire photograph with applied pigment on paper

Creation Place: North America
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted gift of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg in honor of Myrlie Evers-Williams.
Accession Number: P2021.13.972

Guards at the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council roadblock near Wounded Knee, South Dakota took time off Thursday for a game of horseshoes. The roadblock was set up to prevent supplies from reaching American Indian Movement militants holding the hamlet.

On verso: date stamps and newspaper caption affixed.

Wire photographs were originally transmitted over phonelines, then later, by satellite. They were first used in the early 1920s. Associated Press became a leader with this. After pigment touch-ups, etc., the print is put into a drum (like a drum scanner). The image gets converted into audio tones that are transmitted. The tones are received and beamed onto photo-sensitive paper. Wire photographs are copies without originals---they are hybrid, transmitted objects. (Britt Salvesen, Curator and Department Head, Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 30-31, 2022)

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