From The WTC Memorial Finalists: The Media Event

The piece I wish I'd written in immediate response to the eight WTC Memorial Finalists: Christopher Hawthorne's article on Slate.

What I'm on the record saying in the mean time: from my debut appearance in USA Today. [FWIW, I actually said, "30, 50, or 100 years from now." I'm more tweaked they didn't give the URL. Damned editors...] [Elizabeth, is that what you mean by "kicker"?]

REUTERS photo by Mike Segar of Greg Allen taking photos of the WTC Memorial designs for his weblog, image:

A man in need of a haircut--or at least baseball cap with his URL on it--taking photos of the WTC Memorial finalists for his weblog. Styling credits: neoprene sweater (Samsonite by Neil Barrett), Tyvek jacket (Mandarina Duck), insane amount of sweat that generated (model's own). Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar, [update: my sister "congratulated" me with, "I saw the picture of you--on your website."]

Here are some pictures I'm not in.

News cameramen are apparently quite willful and require much stern management, image:

I was loudly forbidden to shoot any pictures, but a wave of tv cameras followed the action and drowned out the publicist's pleas.


Public Art Fund chair and the NY Post's William Neuman bracket some other guy, image:

Tom Eccles, who runs the Public Art Fund, cell phone in hand, incurs the certain disapproval of the nearby Paul Goldberger while the NY Post's William Neuman (R*) discusses something with someone I don't know. Hey, you want good captions, read the Economist. Oh, that's the model for Suspending Memory. It was really hard to see these things in such a fray.

two architects examine Garden of Lights upclose,

These architects were very cool and thoughtful. They're looking at the above-under aspects of Garden of Light, whose chief designer, not insignificantly, is a landscape architect.

a mediamember's videocamera, trained on Garden of Light, image:

A framing trick I learned from Wim Wenders: another couple of views of Garden of Light.

As money a shot as you can get, and all the press are cashing in: a firefighter just happens to be holding a baby while looking at the Memorial designs, image: I can't take credit for this one. it's too inspired.

What a stroke of luck for the assembled media when this handsome, brave firefighter happened to wander over to a display case with a young child in his arms.


New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberger, whose argument about cell phones destroying our sense of being in a place loses a bit of its persuasiveness when you're in an event that is staged entirely for media creation. The exhibition was opened to the public at noon, but no non-media people were anywhere nearby. The crowd quickly evaporated.

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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first published: November 20, 2003.

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