WTC space view
imagine all the people
This was the view from the International Space Station on September 12, 2001, and shows a smoke plume rising from the lower Manhattan area of New York City where terrorists attacked the World Trade Center with two commercial passenger aircraft on Tuesday, Septemeber 11. The photo was taken by Expedition Three Commander Frank Culbertson as the space station flew over the city at a altitude of approximately 250 miles. The ensuing collapse of the towers destroyed a sixteen acre area, and thousands of people are dead. The Pentagon was also attacked, resulting in extensive damage and loss of life. A fourth hijacked passenger aircraft crashed in Pennsylvania.

9.11.01 New York City
a large detail from "9.11.01 New York City," by Andrea Arroyo, a work in the exhibition "Reactions" at Exit Art

"Amid the Ashes, Creativity"
by Holland Cotter

for The New York Times
February 1, 2002

"All of this activity is part of what might be called post-9/11 culture, phase 2. Grief and flags are there. But so are other things: historical reverie, self-examination, an evaluative and often critical look at current politics at home and abroad. The passage of a few months has brought a restored sense of balance, but seeing a certain image at a certain time can take you straight back to that bright morning in September with the force of a body blow."

When Artists Hesitate
from The Christian Science Monitor
March 7, 2002


Here Is New York
a democracy of photographs


from Walt Whitman's "I Sing the Body Electric"

But the expression of a well-made man appears not only in his face,

It is in his limbs and joints also, it is curiously in the joints of his hips and wrists,

It is in his walk, the carriage of his neck, the flex of his waist and knees, dress does not hide him. . .

The march of firemen in their own costumes, the play of masculine muscle through clean- setting trousers and waist-straps,

The slow return from the fire, the pause when the bell strikes suddenly again, and the listening on the alert,

The natural, perfect, varied attitudes, the bent head, the curved neck and the counting. . .

Swim with the swimmers, wrestle with the wrestlers, march in line with the firemen, and pause, listen, count.

more about the salvation of lyric poetry...

"Negotiating the Darkness,
Fortified by Poets' Strength"
by Mary Karr

for The New York Times, January 13, 2002


'Out of the clear blue of 9-11
from a morning's perfect heaven
on stolen silver wings Satan
fell like lightening rattling
against and shattering
The Windows On The World...'

Every year, our friend Chuck Sullivan writes a Christmas poem and reads it at the pub. This year's offering, "A Carol at Ground Zero," was read aloud on Friday, December 21, 2001.

read the poem
"A Carol at Ground Zero"
detail of fire station shrine
detail of fire station shrine
photos of New York City by Larry Brand

Sept 24, New Yorker magazine
"Re: Cover. How It Came To Be"
by Art Speigelman

for The New Yorker, online only - posted October 3, 2001

"...the ghost images that linger, insisting on their presence through the blackness." The artist talks about his cover art of the World Trade Center for the September 24 issue.

"The Eerily Intimate Power of Poetry to Console"
by Dinita Smith

for The New York Times, October 1, 2001

At Union Square Park, a mourner left lines from Yeats:
"All the words that I utter,
And all the words that I write,
Must spread out their wings untiring,
And never rest in their flight,
Till they come where your sad, sad heart is."

what we lost on 9/11, and what we still have,
by Lynn Trenning

"9 Failures of the Imagination"
by Jonathan Lethem

for The New York Times Magazine, September 23, 2001

"We Are All AIDS Sufferers"
by John Corigliano

for The New York Times, September 23, 2001

"Too Much God?" - editor Joan Walsh talks about Jerry Fawell and the Taliban
for, September 24, 2001

historic fireboat John J. Harvey aids rescue

Stand Up Beautiful
a view from Brooklyn, September 12, 2001

Phantom Towers
Filling the Void
The New York Times Magazine, September 23, 2001

Towers of Light
Towers of Light

a collaborative proposal,
from Creative Time

"The Iconic Power of an Artifact"
from The New York Times
September 25, 2001
an op-ed piece by Phillipe Montebello, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

"Ruins" by Jed Perl
for The New Republic, online only
posted September 18, 2001

"I know that I am not the only person who is uneasy about the magnetic pull of these photographs, about the hold they have on us, about the need we seem to have to keep looking at them..." Art critic Perl writes about our fascination with the awful images seen in the aftermath of September 11.

"The Commemorative Beauty of Tragic Wreckage"
by Herbert Muschamp

for The New York Times
November 11, 2001

"Most people just call it the Walls. The term is powerful in its purely descriptive neutrality... If you believe that beauty begins in terror, then it is not sacrilege to speak of the beauty of the remaining walls..."

"History Is Impatient
to Embrace September 11"
by Jonathan Mandell

for The New York Times
November 18, 2001

Eyewitness Photographers
at Ground Zero
"Start Making Sense"
by Vince Aletti

for The Village Voice, October 10, 2001

"The Art of Aftermath"
by Mel Gussow

for MIT's Reconstructions, November 14, 2001

"Even in a Moonscape of Tragedy, Beauty Is in the Eye"
by Sarah Boxer

for The New York Times, May 23, 2002


"All of us are too torn apart by these events to have any certainty about the adequacy of our words and our knowledge to respond to such a situation. But, we want to share what we know and what we think and what we feel. We want to see if these ideas might be useful in helping someone else begin a similar process of exploration and examination."

"re:constructions represents the work of students, staff, faculty, and friends of MIT's Program in Comparative Media Studies. It is not the work of an academic department. It is the work of a community which felt it had to do something to make a difference. We study media and so this is what we had to contribute."


"Reflections on September 11"
a New York Times special



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