9/11

9/11 and the Fall of Mad Men

Mad Men season five… about time! But that new outdoor ad of the guy suspended in white space… what’s the big idea? It’s certainly eye-catching. And it’s already become controversial after just a few days. In those respects it may be meant to announce “Don Draper: the George Lois years.” People are offended by...

The Other 9/11 Icon

On September 10, 2011 New York graphic designer Karen Simon‘s memorial to 9/11 was posted on a billboard on the Long Island Expressway. She had created it ten years earlier. It was accepted into the permanent collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and The Library of Congress. I wanted to know...

It's A Beautiful Day in Spite of Everything

So, I don’t want to be irreverent to the gravity of the weekend’s memories. But! One of my fondest memories of 9/11, after a freaky morning of tracking down all my friends and fighting my way through traffic, was a call to my pal Mart. Mart is in PR, and at that point in...

Dissent Run Awry

Publishing a picture of George W. Bush with blood oozing from his eyes was not the most opportune image to emblazon a magazine cover immediately following 9/11, especially when the nation’s patriotism was on high alert. Yet ten years ago that was the cover of Worldstudio‘s Fall 2001 SPHERE magazine, devoted to dissent and...

Is This Really Necessary?

Or is this New York Daily News cover just a ploy to get a few more customers? Reporting on a threat and alert is certainly the job of news media, but even the predictably outrageous New York Post did not go all out to promote this “unconfirmed” report. It’s not what it says but...

Rebeca Mendez on Terrorism, her TED Talk, and the Arctic Tern

This is the first of two features on PMCA‘s latest exhibition. The second, my interview with the Clayton Brothers, is here. . The letter “R.” There’s the capital, erect with the stately nobility of an opera diva. And there’s the lower case: diminutive, downcast, dejected. That’s the letter Rebeca Méndez tackled as one of...

Today's Obsession: Nightmares

I remember the morning of September 11th, 2001 very clearly. That week, I was in the middle of preparing a proposal for Aveda with the flailing dot-com I was working with, and I’d been at work until 2AM the night before trying to figure out elegant ways to say “your site sucks.” I had...