Photographic imagery is ubiquitous in our culture, and artists have a particularly complex relationship to the technological image, both as creators and as critics of our culture. From Robert Frank and Andy Warhol to Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Chantal Akerman, understanding how these images are used and how they act on us has emerged as a defining preoccupation of postwar art. The nature of the photographic image and the role of the individual in a media-saturated society are the subjects of the landmark exhibition and accompanying catalogue Public Information: Desire, Disaster, Document, presented by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on the occasion of the opening of its new building, designed by Mario Botta. Works by 15 artists spanning four decades trace the idea of the photographic: Nan Goldin's diaristic portraits, Andy Warhol's disaster series, Gerhard Richter's soft-focus photo paintings, John Baldessari's photoemulsion paintings and Larry Clark's videos and collages. Framing the profound questions posed by these artists, authors Gary Garrels, Jim Lewis, Christopher Phillips, Sandra Phillips, Robert Riley and Abigail Solomon-Godeau analyze how the use and manipulation of photographic images shape our culture. Essential reading for anyone interested in post-war and contemporary art and photography, the book features plate sections, essays and an exhibition checklist as well as a bibliography and exhibition history for each artist.Garrels, Gary is the author of 'Public Information: Desire, Disaster, Document' with ISBN 9781881616450 and ISBN 1881616452.