Book Review: Log

Log edited by Cynthia Davidson
Anyone Corporation, 2003
Paperback, 152 pages

In Davidson's introduction to the latest publication venture by Anycorp (publisher of 27 Any journals and sponsor of ten conferences over ten years), she explains the reason behind its existence: "what is needed is a distance from the immediacy of the image that has taken place of critical time." While she refers to the predominance of images and lack of discussion regarding the designs for the WTC site, it might as well be a general statement about architecture and culture today. Log is an attempt to create a critical context for writing about architecture in the present and maybe defining architecture's future. These simple, yet lofty, goals are found in essays that range from direct responses to the 9/11 attacks (Paul Virilio's "An Architect's Crime") to the humorous (Mark Rakatansky's "The Bitterness and Sweetness of Architecture", which analogizes the current state of architecture with hot fudge sundaes). Highlights include Julie Rose's account of SARS in Hong Kong and Mark Taylor's history of religion, "How the World Became a Real Fake."