Monthly Archives: February 2011

Short Note on Books

I will have one of my favorite books on display in Tokyo shortly (will post what book that is after the Takeo Paper Show opens), and was asked to write a few sentences on why a real book matters in the digital age:

A book bears the evidence of having been made by a human being. It also cannot be ‘turned off’ and completely disappear the way you can with an electronic book. So you are stuck with the book in your physical environment. You can’t avoid it. It’s real. Just like you.

So I like the Web. And I like books too.

Charlie’s Wisdom

Charlie’s Wisdom Last week I was on a preparatory teleconference call with Google’s longtime CEO Eric Schmidt and media personality Charlie Rose for a crosstalk session on the future of art to occur today between Eric and I within the private confines of the Museum of Modern Art’s Board Meeting — Eric and my session to be moderated by Charlie. Turns out that Charlie has to head to Egypt (I wonder why? …) and so it will be just Eric and I with a new moderator. I have to say it was an incredible learning experience to hear Charlie’s thoughts on the phone about how to engage this very special audience at MoMA most effectively. Here are a few of my notes of what he shared:

• “Create a *want* to participate.” Charlie pointed out that the audience needed to feel in their bones a desire to jump into what will happen on stage.

• “Have someone in the audience start it all off with a question.” Charlie noted that audience participation, for it to be organic, really has to be participatory and that needs to be seen and felt with immediacy.

• “Everyone should think beyond their expertise.” Charlie gave these instructions to Eric and I. He said it would allow us to reflect our curiosity — which he defined as going beyond our core competencies. It was similar to what Richard Saul Wurman says to speakers at TED about the need to be vulnerable in front of an audience.

So, I will miss the chance to see Charlie in action live … but I figure I can always just watch him on TV. Oh well.