Yoda Quote, Theranos Headquarters, 2014

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Description:

About the artwork:
Photographs from inside Theranos’s headquarters are extremely rare — the images from my shoot with Elizabeth Holmes are some of the only ones around. If you visited the Theranos offices, this wall with its massive Yoda quote is one of the first things you saw once you made … (read more)

About the artwork:
Photographs from inside Theranos’s headquarters are extremely rare — the images from my shoot with Elizabeth Holmes are some of the only ones around. If you visited the Theranos offices, this wall with its massive Yoda quote is one of the first things you saw once you made it past reception and security. Seemingly every employee would pass it entering and exiting the building. At the time it impressed us with its boldness and uncompromising approach. Now it makes me wonder if this kind of dogmatism got in the way of hearing the truth about her own technology.

About the shoot:
When I photographed Elizabeth Holmes for the Forbes 400 cover, she was the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world. A year later, Forbes estimated her net worth at zero. My portrait of her holding a “nanotainer” ended up as key art for the HBO documentary The Inventor. And now she’s been tried and found guilty.

What struck me at the shoot was how accessible she was. I’ve photographed many tech CEOs, and no one gives you two hours of time like she did. She was polite, genuine and friendly. Though not talkative, she asked about me and my crew. She did her own hair and makeup (quite well). She spent much of her time without her publicist around. She ceded control, took direction and avoided the power poses that Forbes shoots tend to attract. She was a dream subject. I asked her to relax her face and just look into the camera, and we got these deep, wide-eyed, blank stares.

While these images began as portraits of a young Silicon Valley visionary, I now feel they’re indicative of this entire era in tech: the fake-it-till-you-make-it ethos, the desire to believe in visionaries and saviors, the often-accompanying market mania, the danger of hubris.


Additional Details:
  • 4800 x 3175 px, JPEG (2.1 MB)
  • This is a signed and limited edition digital creation.
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Comments

Patric Ortmann
2022/01/13

YES!

REPLY
Ethan Pines
(creator)
2022/01/13

Hah -- yes. Not a bad philosophy, even if the context here isn't the most favorable.

REPLY
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