Back when I was in college, in the early 1970s, I confronted an earlier version of this misgiving: the fallacy of the slide carousel. Our art history course had arrived at Mark Rothko, and as our professor rifled through a carousel of slides tracing the arc of the great Abstract Expressionist's entire trajectory, one could indeed see the colors in those paintings slowly congealing across the first half of Rothko's career into that signature vertical pile of four and three and then just two color-saturated diaphanous cloud-forms, hovering one atop the other, and how the colors continued transmuting over the decades, how they gradually grew darker and darker, starker and starker, finally arriving by the very end at that brooding black over a knife-edge white horizon: suicide. There, that was Rothko. Which was fine as far as it went, except that I couldn't help but think how if one had instead been confronted with the canvases themselves, one would have been forced to tend to them one at a time, and presently to one uniquely (there are days, on my museum walks, when I can hardly endure more than one, such is their commanding power). The canvases, as material objects, would have objected to such cavalier rifling.