Author Archives: Andrew Blum

Watch This Space

— When President Clinton appeared—in video!—on my laptop screen in the fall of 1998, his index finger jabbing at Kenneth Starr, the future arrived with a shock: The news was no longer something you either watched or read. Somehow, the web was going to make it both, simultaneously. Nine years later, we’re living in...

The Constant Reader

— Among the legends of computer typography, two stand out. There’s an 18-year-old Steve Jobs stumbling into a calligraphy class at Reed College and learning about serifs and spacing—useless stuff, he thought, until it came time to design the first Mac. Then there’s Bill Hill and the coyote. An eccentric Glaswegian who sometimes still...

Hard Focus

— What does conflict look like? Some people are fortunate enough to know only from the photographs they see in newspapers and on the web. But between the moment a picture is taken and its appearance on our computer screen or in our morning paper there exists a technologically remarkable chain of communication. Gone...

The Big Pixel

—  In his 2001 book, Celluloid Skyline: New York and the Movies, architect James Sanders describes the relationship between the city and iconic films like Annie Hall and Miracle on 34th Street. Recently, though, as he discussed at a recent event in New York, Sanders has been thinking a lot about Shark Tale. True,...

On the Move

    Duck into a narrow passageway off a quiet street in New York’s West Village, step down half a flight and over some sandbags, and you’ll be in the looking-glass world of Michael Sporn Animation. Last fall, the Museum of Modern Art honored Sporn’s 35-year career with a retrospective that included his animated...

Work With Me

—  In February 2006, a New York University research scientist named Jeff Han took the stage at TED, the big-ideas conference in Monterey, California. Standing behind a sort of glass easel, wearing a black turtleneck and jeans, he could barely contain his excitement. “I really, really think this is going to really change the...