On Cinema and a Sense of Place

In an excellent Times Arts & Leisure article, James Sanders looks at the way computer animated walk- and fly-throughs are changing the way architecture is anticipated and understood. Sanders looks specifically at visitor experiences depicted for each of the WTC Memorials; some are impossibly dazzling points of view, while other eye-level walkthroughs emphasize the key emotional moments of the designs. He issues a call to create virtual environments in which the public can wander freely, a la Ground Zero: the FPS game.

It's a case of the medium-as-message, and it's pretty compelling, as far as it goes. He mentions Hugh Ferris, the man who rendered New York as Gotham City (for a more in-depth look at Ferris, check out Rem Koolhaas's unparalleled Delirious New York). Rafael Vinoly, of Team THINK, dismissed Daniel Libeskind's trite, visually slick CG renderings as "graphic design posing as architecture."

In a similar vein, Andrew Johnston's editorial reveals the Lord of the Rings trilogy has changed the way New Zealanders look at their own country. "[New Zealanders] aren't accustomed to standing in a place and imagining what once went on there. 'The making of' the signature myth of the DVD era may have filled the need for places with stories."

Since 2001 here at greg.org, 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 greg.org that time.

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greg [at] greg [dot ] org

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first published: November 30, 2003.

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