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Showing posts from December, 2013

Slavo Cech

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As a boy [backspace delete backspace, okay, as a near 50-year-old, too] I learned my love of urban light from the CN Tower logo in downtown Edmonton. What I didn't know all those years ago was who else was staring at it and what that would mean for light on another Edmonton building.


The logo came into the world four years before I was born into a north-end railroad (yes, Canadian National) family. I learned later that some critics dismissed it as twisted paperclip. That's good, too, but, just not as good as the logo. The tower went up two years after I was born. We've been in this together.

I didn't see it a lot, but, on the special evenings we were downtown for dinner or a musical performance, I would always make a point of looking up at it. And it burned its way in. Because it wasn't just a lit logo that sat there like an unblinking eye. And it didn't flash manically like lights at a car dealership.

Elegantly, it revealed itself. Fluidly, it moved from the …

Misunderstood

The channel has been changed, for now, on the image of our Edmonton winter, thanks to a 90-second Apple commercial called Misunderstood:


The spot tells the story of a seemingly self-absorbed teenager who appears to care only about communing with his technology. As it turns out, however, he is actually playing the role of family memory keeper, using his iPhone to record those emotional sights and evanescent sounds of family togetherness.

The video was shot in Edmonton, and that makes this winter city the background of an Apple ad. The significance of it all is at the forefront of discussion this evening in social media. After all, the iconic images of Edmonton are river valley in the summer or fall. Celebrating winter is more than a bit out there for us.

Paula Simons, the Edmonton Journal's best connection to the reality of this place, put it this way: "All that snow. That blue sky. Those icicles on the eaves. It seems Apple, with the almighty power of its global brand, has …