The Ambiguities of Intention

The images in The Ambiguities of Intention come from the Farm Security Administration (FSA) archive in the Library of Congress.


Roy Stryker, who directed the Information Division of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) during the Great Depression, would provide shooting scripts to the photographers, including Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Arthur Rothstein, Carl Mydans, Marion Post Wolcott as well as the other photographers about what to shoot and where. The photographers returned the film to Washington D.C. for processing, editing, printing and eventual distribution to publications to promote the efforts of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal initiative.


The images had been rejected, also commonly referred to as “killed,” by Roy Stryker and/or his staff with a hole punch. With the negative killed, it was no longer of any use for printing. The series considers what appears to be the unintentional intentionality of the hole punch and how the placement of the hole punch creates a dialogue with the the visual content and narrative context of the image.



23 – 5 x 7–1/4 inch (and verso) archival inkjet transparencies tipped-in on 11 x 8-1/2 archival paper sheets

Library of Congress image inventory and checklist

12 x 9 x 3/4 inches

Bookcloth covered archival boards with 2 tipped-in images on covers, tri-fold binding and four-flap archival folder