The Way the Cookie Crumbles

Proust’s madeleine was quite dry. It demanded not just a quick dunk, but immer­sion to “soften” it (accord­ing to the new trans­la­tion by Lydia Davis, said to be the most accu­rate). And, you’ll note, Mar­cel never bites the cookie. The mem­ory surge is trig­gered by crumbs.

The Burden of iOS

iOS is pinned down by its early inter­face deci­sions. Deci­sions that were made to help users relate older, phys­i­cal ideas to this new, touch-driven soft­ware platform.

Against Storytelling

Over the past sev­eral years, those of us who work in brand­ing or design have heard var­i­ous author­i­ties tell us that we basi­cally are “sto­ry­tellers.” For the first cou­ple times, I accepted this neol­o­gism with­out much resis­tance. But as more and more upper-management types used the word, it seemed…imprecise.

Don’t Say Cheese: Why Do the People in Contemporary Art Photographs Look So Blank?

Why are contemporary-art pho­tographs so devoid of smiles? In many cases it’s not just an absence of joy, but a total lack of emo­tional affect. Walk into a high-end gallery in any major art city today, and—if pho­tographs are on show—you’re likely to see images of peo­ple wear­ing blank, zombie-like expres­sions. The style, called dead­pan, is ubiquitous.