Josh Begley has created a number of wonderful and informative videos in the last couple of years. Titling himself as a ‘Data Artist’, he has taken public documents and made them into moving art, literally. This installment in his portfolio is no different and simply shows the front page of the New York Times through its 164 year history.
With five rows of nine newspapers, viewers travel at high velocity through the last 164 years of America’s news. The New York Times published its first issue on September 18, 1851 when the paper is all text, the video quickly advances to the first use of pictures, while the first photos published by the paper appeared in a Sunday magazine in 1896, May 29, 1910 marks the first front page photographed published by the Times. The video continues with larger black-and-white photos taking over the page, and finally today’s predominantly color photo-oriented front pages (The first color photograph appeared on the front page in 1997).
What’s striking about the piece is that it captures the inevitability of change, with what must have been huge news items flashing perpetually across the screen, framed by the constancy of institutions, as much as the world morphs and evolves across the page, the masthead up top remains unbroken.
His previous videos have included Google street views of every officer involved shooting in 2016 (LINK HERE) and a voyage across the US-Mexico border, stitched together from 200,000 satellite images (LINK HERE).