We form a mental map...then that shape, shapes us...

Now Available for Pre-Order on Amazon!

Now Available for Pre-Order on Amazon!

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, 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

The Telling Image: Shapes of Changing Times

by Lois Farfel Stark


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. 

Lois Stark is an imaginative thinker who takes the particular and makes it universal. She is an inspiring guide, who discerns patterns and tells a compelling human story.
— Edward Hirsch President, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Poet

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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