Houstonian LOIS FARFEL STARK is many things: an Emmy Award-winning producer, documentary filmmaker, civic leader (Alley Theatre, Texas Children’s Hospital, St. John’s School, etc.), philanthropist and author. During her distinguished career, she has produced and written more than 40 documentaries on architecture, medical research, wilderness protection, artists and social issues. With NBC News, she covered Abu Dhabi’s catapult to the 20th century, the British withdrawal from the Persian Gulf, Cuba ten years after their revolution, the Israeli Air Force in the Six Day War, Northern Ireland during its time of religious conflict and Liberia’s social split.
And now, in her new book “The Telling Image: Shapes of Changing Times,” she takes us on a global journey to discern how humans make sense of the world – a complex enough subject that she breaks down elegantly. She travels 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.
“The Telling Image” is a synthesis of civilization’s changing mindsets, a brilliantly original perspective urging the reader 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.
On February 8, you can get the story straight from Stark herself. She’s giving a talk (oh, and she also gives TED talks, too) and signing books at Duncan Concert Hall at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University at 6:30pm. For more information, visit www.loisstark.com/booklaunch.