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Thread: World Trade Center - Fifth Anniversary

  1. #46
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    The Hole in the City’s Heart


    Vincent Laforet for The New York Times
    An aerial view of ground zero on Aug. 16, 2006.

    NY TIMES
    By DEBORAH SONTAG
    September 11, 2006

    On July Fourth two years ago, eight weeks before the Republican National Convention in New York City, Gov. George E. Pataki traveled from the Hamptons summer home of his senior economic adviser, Charles A. Gargano, to the dusty crater in the center of Lower Manhattan.

    Draped in the symbolism of Independence Day, the two men descended into the baking-hot pit at ground zero. There they oversaw the ceremonial laying of a 20-ton Adirondack granite cornerstone — flecked with garnet, the state gem — for what was to be the first building to rise at the new World Trade Center: the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower.

    “How badly our enemies underestimated the resiliency of this city and the resolve of these United States,” Mr. Pataki said.

    For almost two years after that day’s Declaration of Independence reading and “God Bless America” singing, the cornerstone sat forlornly in the 16-acre depression, waiting for a beacon of hope to soar above it. Even as a building redesign left the cornerstone in the wrong place, it waited, inside a blue shed surrounded, often, by a brackish moat.

    During that time, Larry A. Silverstein, the commercial leaseholder of the World Trade Center site, often found himself gazing down at the stone, remembering the way he had smiled through his teeth at the July Fourth ceremony. “The whole thing was speeches,” he said. “To me, it was illusory, almost like a farce. People were thinking, ‘God, this is wonderful,’ when I knew in my heart that it was sheer rubbish.”

    Then, this June, after construction actually began on the substructure of the Freedom Tower, the cornerstone was in the way. Mr. Silverstein’s workers used a crane to hoist it from the site, transferring it to a flatbed for a journey that would reverse the one that the governor made on Independence Day 2004: from ground zero out to Long Island, where it is now stored.
    Five years after Sept. 11, 2001, ground zero remains a 16-acre, 70-foot-deep hole in the heart of Lower Manhattan. High above it, a scaffolded bank building, contaminated during the attack, hulks like a metal skeleton, waiting endlessly to be razed.

    The wreck that still stands tall and the pit that still sinks deep sum up the troubled history of ground zero. A site of horrific tragedy whose rescue and cleanup operation was a model of valiant efficiency, ground zero turned into a sinkhole of good intentions where it was as difficult to demolish a building as to construct one.

    For all that has not yet risen from the ashes, there has been considerable sturm und drang, “like a novel, a cheap novel,” said Daniel Libeskind, the master planner for the site. The combination of big money, prime real estate, bottomless grief, artistic ego and dreams of legacy transformed ground zero into a mosh pit of stakeholders banging heads over billions in federal aid, tax breaks and insurance proceeds.

    Only now, after a whirlwind of negotiations to resolve crises in advance of the fifth anniversary, is subterranean work substantially under way, raising the hope that reconstruction may proceed. Even so, many family members of victims are quick to point out that they still have nowhere to go to mourn their loved ones and only shaken faith that they will see a fitting memorial in the near future ...

    ... All summer, facing the deadline of a Sept. 21 board meeting, the Port Authority and Mr. Silverstein have been embrangled in difficult negotiations to finalize their April agreement. While Mr. Pataki pressed them to conclude by Sept. 11, it proved impossible.

    On Thursday, it fell to Mr. Silverstein, who said the five-year planning process “should have made me a manic-depressive by now,’’ to deliver news of progress in time for today’s anniversary.

    With the governor by his side, Mr. Silverstein unveiled the designs of Towers 2, 3 and 4 by three renowned architects of his generation -- Fumihiko Maki, 78, of Tokyo, and Richard Rogers, 73, and Norman Foster, 71, of London.

    For the first time, there was a complete image of ground zero reborn. Monumental and densely packed, it did not overtly resemble Mr. Libeskind’s ascending spiral of glass structures. And, with one glance, it raised the lingering issue of whether Lower Manhattan will be able to absorb 8.8 million square feet of new office space.

    But it looked tangible, like something that could actually take shape.

    Mr. Libeskind says he retains faith that the new World Trade Center will be “memorable’’ because of the combined talents — “It’s not some schlock architects’’ — joined together under the umbrella of his master plan.

    Yet he worries that the city’s passion for the project has dissipated, that the urgency and idealism have faded.

    “For many, Sept. 11 has become very abstract,’’ he said. “People forget already what this was all about. They think it’s about pretty facades and square-footage prices. They don’t remember anymore that it’s about people who perished, it’s about America, it’s about some pretty big ideas.”

    Clifford J. Levy and Jenny Nordberg contributed reporting.

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

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    Twin Beams to Light Sky Again.
    But After 2008?

    NY TIMES
    By DAVID W. DUNLAP
    September 9, 2006

    As twilight falls on Monday, the skies over Lower Manhattan will once again be pierced by the twin beams of the Tribute in Light.

    Beginning in 2002 as a catch-as-catch-can improvisation, this one-night event has become something of a civic tradition. It is the celestial, silent taps that brings a day of remembrance to a close, a shared experience open simultaneously to almost anyone around the city.

    Its future seems assured for the next two years. But after that?

    “I’d say there’s a question mark,” said Kent L. Barwick, the president of the Municipal Art Society, the organizers of the Tribute in Light.

    For one thing, the project may run out of money after 2008. For another, it may lose its current staging area atop the Battery Garage, six blocks south of ground zero; a rare expanse of secure open space downtown. A long-range redevelopment plan for the nearby area, known as Greenwich Street South, calls for demolishing the garage, though this is not on the immediate horizon.

    And there is no guarantee that it will have a permanent home at the World Trade Center memorial, which is to open in 2009. “I haven’t heard anybody say, ‘Let’s forget about this,’ ” Mr. Barwick said yesterday. “At the same time, it has to be addressed.”

    The Tribute in Light was first illuminated on March 11, 2002, six months after the terrorist attack. It was designed by John Bennett, Gustavo Bonevardi, Richard Nash Gould, Julian LaVerdiere and Paul Myoda, working with Paul Marantz, a lighting designer, and Michael Ahern, an event producer. It ran for a month.

    Sept. 11, 2003, marked its next appearance. It has been illuminated for one night on each anniversary since.

    In 2004, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation authorized $3.5 million to run the tribute through 2008. That allowed the Municipal Art Society to purchase 88 Space Cannon searchlights, each four feet tall, with a 7,000-watt xenon bulb. They sit inside boxy steel frames, allowing them to be stacked for storage.

    The fixtures, powered by temporary generators, are set out on the garage roof in two 50-by-50-foot squares, offset from each other as the twin towers were, though covering only 6 percent of the towers’ area. The array is as ungainly to behold at close range as it is ethereal to see from afar.

    “The art is in what they produce,” said Frank E. Sanchis III, the senior vice president of the society. “It’s never been about the light fixtures, it’s been about the beacons. In a permanent installation, you’d have to worry about what it looks like.” That is only one hurdle to placing the lights in the permanent memorial.

    But its creators believe the Tribute in Light has an enduring value, in part because its silence and simplicity permit viewers to invest it with their own meaning or message. “One of the best things about this is that it is what it is,” Mr. Ahern said. “There are no speeches attendant to it.”

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

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    A SCENE GROWS IN BROOKLYN

    http://www.watchingtheworldchange.com/
    September 10, 2006


    Photo (c) Copyright: Thomas Hoepker/Magnum Photos

    Here ^^^ is the image, by Thomas Hoepker of Magnum Photos, mentioned in Sunday's compelling Frank Rich column in The New York Times. Taken in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on September 11, 2001, it shows a disorientingly tranquil and schizophrenic scene: a handful of young people, as if on a lunch break or taking a breather from a bike ride, while catastrophe looms in the distance.

    "It's a kind of troubling picture," Hoepker says in Watching the World Change. "The sun was shining....It's possible they lost people and cared. [But] the idyllic quality turned me off."

    It took the photographer four years before he felt inclined to publish it, fearing that the image, if shown too soon after the attacks, might have invited a certain complacency in the viewer, instead of the outrage or anguish the situation demanded. Indeed, the picture's postmodern stasis didn't meet any of our standard expectations of what a September 11 photograh should look like.

    "Over time, with perspective, it grew in importance," Hoepker now says. "It's a very contemporary picture: The bright colors are up front [but] it has that touch of neutrality, a coolness, a bit of a distance to suffering and not trusting of emotions ... It took a while for the news to sink in. It took a while to know how to react."

  4. #49

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    New York Sun
    September 11, 2006

    Irrepressible

    New York Sun Editorial

    One of the most remarkable features of the past five years in New York City has been how, even through the shock and grief and pain that marked September 11 and its aftermath, New Yorkers have been steadily reclaiming their cityscape from the forces that sought to destroy it. The most obvious manifestation of this trend is the recently unveiled plans for three stunning skyscrapers to be built at ground zero, but signs of the city's resilience and New Yorkers' determination to charge onward and upward are all over. The post-September 11 New York will be different, but New Yorkers are showing their determination that, at the end of the day, it will be better.

    There has been much griping around the city, including in these columns, about the delays in rebuilding at Ground Zero. But we have no doubt that one of the reasons the rebuilding has gotten off to a slow start is that the market was trying to tell us something, and it's not necessarily a bad thing to give a market time to work things out. Today, the site's private developer, Larry Silverstein, is closer than ever to signing a final deal with the Port Authority, and construction of a series of office towers is now expected to be complete by 2011. Ten years is striking a lot of people as too long a time for the site to have remained a hole in the ground, but given the political complexity and emotional charge of that particular spot — the combination of mourning and politics — it was probably best it took time.

    A lot of things, after all, had to be sorted out with a project that will transform Lower Manhattan, and the city at large, for generations. But we are learning anew what a commercial and artistic magnet the city still is. Six world-renowned architects — Daniel Libeskind, David Childs, Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Fumihiko Maki, and Santiago Calatrava — have contributed designs for millions of square feet of office space at the site and for a transit hub to bring in thousands of workers. Ground zero will return to the commercial roots of the city while also displaying the same architectural and engineering adventurousness that in earlier generations created the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, and the original World Trade Center.

    The renaissance is just as evident beyond the 16-acre World Trade Center site. Just across the street, Goldman Sachs is erecting a new 43-story headquarters. A little to the south, a new promenade greets pedestrians at West Street and Battery Place. A new transit center at Fulton Street will ease the way for 300,000 daily riders to commute in and out of Lower Manhattan on 12 subway lines. Luxury housing is springing up all over the place, and in many buildings New Yorkers are moving into structures that used to house offices. Those who thought Lower Manhattan was dead even before September 11 are being proven wrong every day.

    The renaissance is happening all over the city. At Midtown, a 52-story skyscraper is going up to house offices for the Bank of America while a second 52-story tower is going up just a few blocks away for the New York Times. A million square-foot mall is going up on the site of the Bronx Terminal Market. Brooklyn is on the make, with the Atlantic Yards development charging ahead. According to a recent report from the Real Estate Board of New York, rents for street-level retail space are up by double-digit percentages in retail shopping hot spots across the city, an indicator that New York is attracting residents and guests with a lot of money to spend in the local economy.

    This renaissance has been as contentious as just about everything else in the city. The Atlantic Yards project is still dogged by neighborhood concerns deserving, and getting, a measure of respect. The city's political class has often had different ideas from the private sector about the direction redevelopment should take. Mayor Bloomberg holds firm to his belief that Lower Manhattan's future as a commercial center is in doubt, while Mr. Silverstein and many others disagree. Much residential development is marred by an obsession with creating "affordable housing" that often does more harm than good, even to those in whose interests the "affordable" housing movement ostensibly speaks.

    New Yorkers have always disagreed with each other about the future of their city. Our own preference would be for giving the free market more freedom to operate than it often receives in this city, and we've never shied away from expressing that view in respect of a host of development projects. It would be a mistake, however, to get so caught up in the details of any particular project as to lose sight of the bigger picture. Five years after finding itself at the epicenter of the deadliest terrorist attack in American history, New York is a vibrant city in the midst of a great renaissance.

    © 2006 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.

  5. #50
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    KOENIG'S SPHERE

    The German Sculptor Fritz Koenig at Ground Zero

    A Film by Percy Adlon on The Sundance Channel


    CURRENT SCREENINGS
    Monday 09.11.06 at 09:00 PM
    Saturday 09.23.06 at 11:00 AM
    Tuesday 09.26.06 at 07:00 AM
    WATCH VIDEO: KOENIG'S SPHERE (clip)



    The only work of art in or around the World Trade Center that miraculously survived the terror attack of September 11, 2001, is the monumental fountain sculpture “Kugelkaryatide” created and built by the Bavarian sculptor Fritz Koenig. Although “The Sphere” survived, it is not undamaged. It carries heavy scars that makes it an eloquent witness of the disaster. As the center piece of a memorial for the victims of the attack, it will be a witness of the terrible day for generations to come.



    Koenig, born in 1924 in Würzburg, Germany, is one of the most important and prominent German sculptors after World War II. His work was shown in exhibitions all over the world. He calls “The Sphere” his biggest child. It is 25 feet high, cast in 52 bronze segments, put together in Bremen, and shipped as a whole to Lower Manhattan. It was commissioned by the Port Authority in the late sixties. Originally, Henry Moore was supposed to create the fountain. But the twin towers’ architect Minoru Yamasaki, who had seen Koenig’s work at the Staempfli Gallery in Manhattan, decided to ask the German sculptor. “I was in my mid-forties at that time” says Koenig , “not too young anymore, and not too old yet to tackle the enormous endeavor.”

    Filmmaker Percy Adlon (“Bagdad Café”) who has made two previous documentaries about Fritz Koenig in 1979 and 1996, meets with Koenig five weeks after the attack and the two visit Ground Zero.

    The film shows Koenig in New York City before, during and after his confrontation with the remains of his sculpture between the rubble of Ground Zero. The New York scenes are intercut with Koenig’s story about the making of the biggest bronze sculpture of our time. A story of an extraordinary task. And a story of broken art as a symbol of tortured humanity.

    © Leora Films, Inc. 2001


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    And now the counter attack ...
    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post

    A SCENE GROWS IN BROOKLYN

    ...the image, by Thomas Hoepker of Magnum Photos, mentioned in Sunday's compelling Frank Rich column in The New York Times. Taken in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on September 11, 2001 ...

    "It's a kind of troubling picture," Hoepker says in Watching the World Change. "The sun was shining....It's possible they lost people and cared. [But] the idyllic quality turned me off."

    It took the photographer four years before he felt inclined to publish it ...
    Frank Rich Is Wrong About That 9/11 Photograph

    Those New Yorkers weren't relaxing!


    Young people on the Brooklyn waterfront on Sept. 11

    SLATE
    By David Plotz
    Sept. 12, 2006

    In his Sept. 10 column, Frank Rich of the New York Times describes a "taboo 9/11 photo," one so "shocking" that photographer Thomas Hoepker didn't publish it for four years. The photo, which the Times did not run but which is reproduced here (and which Slate also wrote about here), shows five people on the Brooklyn waterfront, engaged in conversation while the smoke from the fallen towers billows over Manhattan behind them.

    In an interview with David Friend—who published the photo in a new book, Watching the World Change: The Stories Behind the Images of 9/11Hoepker said his subjects "were totally relaxed like any normal afternoon" and that he didn't publish the picture in 2001 because "we didn't need to see that, then." Rich, who quotes the Hoepker interview, evidently agrees with the photographer's characterization of the image, writing, "What he caught was this: Traumatic as the attack on America was, 9/11 would recede quickly for many. This is a country that likes to move on, and fast. The young people in Mr. Hoepker's photo aren't necessarily callous. They're just American. In the five years since the attacks, the ability of Americans to dust themselves off and keep going explains both what's gone right and what's gone wrong on our path to the divided and dispirited state the nation finds itself in today."

    But wait! Look at the photograph. Do you agree with Rich's account of it?

    Do these look like five New Yorkers who are "enjoying the radiant late-summer sun and chatting away"? Who have "move[d] on"? Who — in Rich's malicious, backhanded swipe — "aren't necessarily callous"? They don't to me. I wasn't there, and Hoepker was, so it may well be that they were just swapping stories about the Yankees. But I doubt it. The subjects are obviously engaged with each other, and they're almost certainly discussing the horrific event unfolding behind them. They have looked away from the towers for a moment not because they're bored with 9/11, but because they're citizens participating in the most important act in a democracy — civic debate.

    Ask yourself: What are these five people doing out on the waterfront, anyway? Do you really think, as Rich suggests, that they are out for "a lunch or bike-riding break"? Of course not. They came to this spot to watch their country's history unfold and to be with each other at a time of national emergency. Short of rushing to Ground Zero and digging for bodies, how much more patriotic and concerned could they have been?

    So they turned their backs on Manhattan for a second. A nice metaphor for Rich to exploit, but a cheap shot. I was in Washington on 9/11. I spent much of the day glued to my TV set, but I also spent it racing home to be with my infant daughter, calling my parents and New York relatives, and talking, talking, talking with colleagues and friends. Those discussions were exactly the kind of communal engagement I see in this photo. There is nothing "shocking" in this picture. These New Yorkers have not turned away from Manhattan because they have turned away from 9/11. They have turned away from Manhattan because they have turned toward each other for solace and for debate.

    Rich and Hoepker and I have all characterized what these five people were doing and how they were feeling, but none of us really know. Wouldn't you like to hear from the five themselves? I would. If they're out there and they'd like to respond to Rich or me, they can e-mail me at: mailtolotzd@slate.com


    (C) 2006 Washington Post.Newsweek Interactive Co. LLC

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    From Libeskind's presentation of the Original Master Paln ( February 2003 ) :

    A FOUR YEAR PLAN

    Within four years, Libeskind said in his presentation, several major elements will already be built at the World Trade Center site.

    The memorial space [1], he said, will be built and filled with a separately designed memorial.

    The museum [2] and the cultural spaces [3] that flank it will also be built.



    Libeskind also said that construction will be finished on a new lower Manhattan transportation station [4],

    on a performing arts center [5] north of Fulton Street

    and on the iconic office building [6] with its 1776 foot spire [7].

    Port Authority officials, however,say that it may take closer to five or six years to build all of these elements.

    [ Hmmm ... how innocent we all were back then ]

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    http://youtube.com/watch?v=JD2bxNPme7Y

    You may remember this band from their famous Whiter Shade of Pale. WTC tribute.

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    The following article clarifies things somewhat regarding the photo posted above. It includes a response from two of the people pictured.

    From the WSJ (subscription) on September 19

    ***
    PHOTOGRAPHY

    One 9/11 Picture, Thousands of Words:
    Rorschach of Meanings

    By RICHARD B. WOODWARD
    September 19, 2006; Page D6

    Faith in the camera as an infallible eyewitness was supposed to have died for good with the advent of Photoshop. Critics have opined for years that the popularity of such digital trickery would erode the truth value of all photographs. What attorney would risk introducing an 8-by-10 print as evidence of a murder scene if jury members knew how to rotate bodies and paintbox skin tones on their home computers?

    So far, nothing of the sort has happened; indeed, quite the reverse. Despite the shame visited this summer upon certain photojournalists for their "fauxtography" in Lebanon -- darkening skies, adding smoke and fire to scenes of battle -- evidence produced by cameras has never been so prevalent or taken for granted. The view that photographs accurately reflect the chaos of events or inner states of mind remains stubbornly unshaken, and some of the most zealous believers are photographers themselves.

    The eruption in the media and on photo blogs last week over an image taken on 9/11 by the German photographer Thomas Hoepker -- and the glib interpretation put upon it by Frank Rich in the New York Times -- has proved once again that we don't need Photoshop to doctor the meaning of an image. Our minds do this job, adding or eliding information as we see fit, better than any computer program.

    For those who tuned in late, Mr. Hoepker's photograph depicts five young white New Yorkers on the Brooklyn waterfront engaged in conversation while smoke from the World Trade Towers billows above and behind them. The scene includes a park bench and a bicycle, blue sky and water. The quintet seem to be concentrating on each other on a gorgeous day with the disaster purely as background.

    As reported by David Friend in his new book "Watching the World Change: The Stories Behind the Images of 9/11," Mr. Hoepker saw the people in his photograph as "totally relaxed like any normal afternoon. They were just chatting away. It's possible they lost people and cared, but they were not stirred by it....I can only speculate [but they] didn't seem to care."

    That was enough for Mr. Rich to declare in his column this Sept. 10 that "from the perspective of 9/11's fifth anniversary, Mr. Hoepker's photo is prescient as well as important -- a snapshot of history soon to come. What he caught was this: Traumatic as the attack on America was, 9/11 would recede quickly for many. This is a country that likes to move on, and fast. The young people in Mr. Hoepker's photo aren't necessarily callous. They're just American."

    The next day the journalist Daniel Plotz wrote a piece on Slate that disputed Mr. Rich, calling his reading of the image a "cheap shot." In Mr. Plotz's view the five have not ignored or moved beyond 9/11 but have "turned toward each other for solace and for debate." He asked any of the people in the photograph to contact Slate and describe the event from their side of the lens.

    First to respond was Walter Sipser, a Brooklyn artist. "A snapshot can make mourners attending a funeral look like they're having a party," he wrote. "Had Hoepker walked fifty feet over to introduce himself he would have discovered a bunch of New Yorkers in the middle of an animated discussion about what had just happened." Another figure in the picture who wrote in was Chris Schiavo, a professional photographer. She bitterly chastised both Mr. Rich and Mr. Hoepker for their "cynical expression of an assumed reality." As a "third-generation native New Yorker, who knows and loves every square inch of this city," whose "mother even worked for Minoru Yamasaki, the World Trade Center architect," she stated that "it was genetically impossible for me to be unaffected by this event."

    It can't be fun to have your public moment of emotional confusion hijacked by a Magnum photographer and turned into a national symbol of moral disgrace by a New York Times columnist.

    Mr. Hoepker and Mr. Rich interpreted the picture for their own purposes, claiming to know from the relaxed gestures of the group and the context of the event what the five were talking about and thinking.

    But their simplistic reading of the image, however mistaken in the view of those in it, is more naïve than malicious. Their translation is not absurd and can be supported by elements in the image. The meanings of photographs are inherently unstable. Without captions to nail down who, what, why, where, when, they tend to drift away into the inscrutable oblivion -- one reason the medium was so beloved by the surrealists. The poignancy (or hilarity) of many found photographs is that they have lost their original context, the storyline that made them necessary at the time.

    These free-floating mysteries require a narrative to be understood, even if it is distorted, incomplete, or flat wrong. Historic photographs assumed to be straightforward records of events by some have been seen as anything but by others. Robert Capa's "Fallen Soldier" from the Spanish Civil War in 1936 was subject to decades of innuendo and slander against Capa for supposedly having faked the soldier's death. Conspiracy theorists of the JFK assassination have detected in the 486 frames of the Zapruder film second and third gunmen, CIA agents and mafiosi. Attorneys defending the Los Angeles police officers accused of brutalizing Rodney King slowed down George Holliday's 81-second video into still photos and convinced a jury in Simi Valley that the supine Mr. King was still a threat.

    More recently, during the Al-Aqsa Intifada of 2000 an Associated Press photograph, of a man with a bloodied head and a baton-wielding Israeli policeman behind him, was broadly published and labeled as the beating of a Palestinian by an Israeli officer. In fact, the bloodied man was Tuvia Grossman, a Jewish-American student from Chicago, and the photograph actually showed his rescue by the policeman from a mob of Palestinian rioters. The captioned villain was really the savior, not the scourge. In 2002 a Paris court forced the AP and the French newspaper Libération to pay Mr. Grossman €4500 ($5,700) for falsely representing him in the picture.

    Mr. Hoepker suppressed his photograph of the "blasé" New Yorkers for four years because, he said, it did not express the rage and suffering that he and millions felt that day. The image didn't fit the accepted narrative of the event. As Mr. Friend writes in his book, "it did not meet any of our standard expectations of what a September 11th photograph should look like."

    With the passage of time, however, Mr. Hoepker has gone back and re-evaluated the image. Last year he was proud enough to choose it as the catalog cover for his retrospective in Munich. He now compares it to Breughel's "Landscape With the Fall of Icarus," the painting in which most of the 16th-century figures seem unaware or unconcerned by the body of the Greek boy plummeting from the sky into the sea.

    Having reassessed the image in light of all the other less ambiguous pictures published from that day, he believes it "has grown in importance." In effect, he has Photoshopped it in his mind so that it now belongs neatly in a more contemporary storyline of this nation's culpability for world unease. The German press has reproduced the photograph widely and seems to have read it, as Mr. Rich did, to upbraid Americans for their hedonism and short memories. Funny, but I don't know many New Yorkers who have moved past 9/11, certainly none who has done so "fast." Thomas Hoepker may be the exception.
    --
    Mr. Woodward is an arts critic in New York.

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    The world is more disjointed now than it was five years ago.

    What can make sense in this day and age?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrShakespeare View Post

    One 9/11 Picture, Thousands of Words:

    Rorschach of Meanings

    ... their simplistic reading of the image, however mistaken in the view of those in it, is more naïve than malicious. Their translation is not absurd and can be supported by elements in the image ... The poignancy (or hilarity) of many found photographs is that they have lost their original context, the storyline that made them necessary at the time.

    These free-floating mysteries require a narrative to be understood, even if it is distorted, incomplete, or flat wrong ...

    Mr. Hoepker suppressed his photograph of the "blasé" New Yorkers for four years ... The image didn't fit the accepted narrative of the event.
    Where All the Beautiful People Are Ho-Hum
    ... if you create a narrative, you create a celebrity ... But as a narrative, celebrity doesn’t demand that its stories be well-crafted or complex — just that they grab someone’s attention for a minute ... by flattening celebrity, the culture loses its traditional organizing principles — who’s up, down, worthy and over ... It’s actually quite unsettling for the way we organize influence and power ...
    NY TIMES
    By JOHN LELAND
    September 24, 2006

    A QUICK measure of fame in 2006: Lazydork is up, Tom Cruise is down. Mr. Cruise is one of the most expensively maintained and promoted celebrities in the world, known to people who have little else in common; Lazydork is a soft-around-the-middle young man seen dancing shirtless on the video-sharing Web site YouTube.com, a platform that has already made stars of adolescent guitar players, pancake flippers and, most spectacularly, a character named Lonelygirl15, who appeared to be an ordinary teenager talking to a Web camera about her life.

    The fortunes of Mr. Cruise and Lazydork illustrated a recent twist on Andy Warhol’s famous dictum: In the YouTube era, everyone will be famous to 15 people.

    Though Lazydork’s audience exceeds 15 people, his fame is wholly partitioned within a niche medium that most people don’t think about, and dependent on his audience’s belief that he is a regular person, not a celebrity. A promise of Lazydork is not that he is spectacular, but that he is ordinary; if he deserved his fame, he probably wouldn’t have it.

    In an era when anyone can have a celebrity following (at least a small one), his popularity raises questions about the meaning of fame: If someone is celebrated for not being a celebrity, does celebrity itself still have any value?

    The YouTube stars’ rise, viewed against the recent decision of Viacom head Sumner Redstone to cut loose Mr. Cruise — in part because of his erratic behavior, in part, some suggest, because stars have become too expensive — illustrates the thesis of Chris Anderson’s book “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More,” which proposes that new technology favors niche products or niche celebrities at the expense of unifying megablockbusters.

    “I would call that a flattening of celebrity,” Mr. Anderson said. “There’s more celebrities, so the nature of celebrity is devalued. We’re moving into an era of microhits and ministars, where your celebrity may not be my celebrity, and you may not have heard of mine.”

    This fame collides in interesting ways with technology, said Clay Shirky, adjunct professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University.

    “On some deep level, fame is more people paying attention to you than you can reciprocate,” he said. “That hasn’t changed. But now you have that fundamental imbalance filtered through a new technology with new expectations, including interactivity and egalitarianism.”

    Where traditional celebrities are elevated above their audience, and invested with exalted qualities, new-model celebrities are expected to be no better than their audience — maybe worse. We don’t expect Denzel Washington to read his fan mail, but we expect Lonelygirl to answer her e-mail.

    At a time when fame is both fiercely desired and toxic to the bearer, the YouTube stars present a model of celebrity that has all the benefits of anonymity, along with the small paychecks. When they step outside the site, they can walk the streets in peace; and when they return, they are as famous to their various microcults as Tom Cruise or Paris Hilton.

    “People like Lonelygirl have discovered a truth about celebrity, which is that celebrity is a narrative form, not a status,” said Neal Gabler, a senior fellow at the Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California. “They understand that if you create a narrative, you create a celebrity. You don’t need movie studios or television.”

    But as a narrative, celebrity doesn’t demand that its stories be well-crafted or complex — just that they grab someone’s attention for a minute, said Ken Goffman, better known as R.U. Sirius, publisher and podcaster of mondoglobo.net, a free-flowing discussion of culture and technology. After all, it’s one thing to watch a Hollywood movie — however bad — and another to watch someone dance with his shirt off.

    “It’s a double-edge sword, not just in the cheapening of celebrity, but the cheapening of the quality of the work people seek out, liking stuff that’s just quirky but not necessarily brilliant,” Mr. Goffman said.

    And in way, by flattening celebrity, the culture loses its traditional organizing principles — who’s up, down, worthy and over.

    “We’re moving from a representation culture, where celebrities or stars represented us, to a presentation culture, where we can present ourselves,” said P. David Marshall, a professor of communication studies at Northeastern University and author of “Celebrity and Power: Fame in Contemporary Culture.”

    “It’s actually quite unsettling for the way we organize influence and power,” he said. “We begin to look to uncelebrated individuals, like a girl alone with her Web camera. And we recognize that they disappear faster than the organized system of producing celebrities. The churn is astounding.”

    It is tempting to say, ’twas ever thus. But ’twasn’t, said Leo Braudy, professor of English at the University of Southern California and author of “The Frenzy of Renown: Fame and Its History.”

    Momentary fame, he said, is now “available to anybody, but that’s not really fame in the ancient view. Fame originally meant after you’re dead. ‘Undying fame’ is the phrase in Indo-European traditions. In a world with little media, that was considered an accomplishment, that people would talk about you when you’re gone.”

    Now fame is spread horizontally, across instantaneous electronic networks, rather than deeply, over time. For Lazydork, alas, the concept of fame itself — something lasting, to be remembered for generations afterward — may be as fleeting as today’s celebrities.

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  11. #56

    Smile

    i think the best way to rebuild the place of the twins would be to create a new forest from concrete collumns and plant trees on the top of them, showing strength and reminding that there's no life without death and no death without life. one column-tree for each victim, as the least honour.

  12. #57

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by elisa kouloumenta View Post
    ...create a new forest from concrete collumns and plant trees on the top of them...
    The roots: what do you do about the roots?

  13. #58

    Default

    do you really believe that's a problem?

  14. #59

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by elisa kouloumenta View Post
    do you really believe that's a problem?
    Not if you don't mind dead trees.

  15. #60

    Default

    They are planting trees- several hundred oaks I believe. I don't think they intend on them dying.

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