Adam Gopnik on the 9/11 Memorial.
"The site contains more contradictions, unresolved and perhaps unresolvable, than any other eight acres in Manhattan. A celebration of liberty tightly policed; a cemetery that cowers in the shadow of commerce; an insistence that we are here to remember and an ambition to let us tell you what to recall; the boast that we have completely started over and the promise that we will never forget--visitors experience these things with a free-floating sense of unease. The contradictions are already so evident that they've infuriated critics, from right to center to left."
The New Yorker
Reaction to the Marina Abramovic exhibition at the Serpentine
"It's easy to say that you could just sit on a chair quietly at home and have the same result (who needs a fashionable avant garde artist to make you stare at a white wall?) but, in fact, in our non-stop, connected world, it's a very difficult thing to find the time and space for. Like many others who have been, I felt powerfully conflicting emotions about the Abramovic show, but I can't wait to go back."
The Temptation of Despair: Tales of the 1940s by Werner Sollors
"In Germany, the years immediately following World War II call forward images of obliterated cities, hungry refugees, and ghostly monuments to Nazi crimes. The temptation of despair was hard to resist, and to contemporary observers the road toward democracy in the Western zones of occupation seemed rather uncertain. Drawing on a vast array of American, German, and other sources--diaries, photographs, newspaper articles, government reports, essays, works of fiction, and film--Werner Sollors makes visceral the experiences of defeat and liberation, homelessness and repatriation, concentration camps and denazification."
Harvard University Press
On Museums Acquiring Apps
"The impetus for the acquisition," says Sebastian Chan, Cooper-Hewitt's director of digital and emerging media, "is that software has become one of the most significant arenas of design." Code, the underpinning of any app, may be digital and insubstantial; you can't touch it. Yet we interact with apps daily and their design affects our behavior. When Facebook, for example, created its "News Feed" feature, users encountered a stream of their friends' status updates. "No one quite knows what it means to collect design artifacts in a world where design is increasingly intangible," says Aaron Cope, Cooper-Hewitt's senior engineer.