NPQ, Summer 1995
BACK STORY: This was soon after the sarin gas attack took place by the Aum Supreme Truth sect in a Tokyo subway. This one act of terrorism marked a shift of power in the information age. It was now possible for non-governmental, third parties to access chemical and biological weapons. We had presumably begun the era of “Third Wave Terrorism,” where every individual might need their own personal gas mask...just in case.
I went to an army and navy surplus store and purchased a gas mask. I put it on my cooperative, yet very pregnant wife, and instructed her to look fearful and directly into the camera. I wanted to give the cover a homemade look, to parallel the story that an individual could make their own terrorism at home; so I created a gritty posterization of the image and employed a typeface that looked like it came right off of an old typewriter to reinforce this message.