I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge Anne Friedberg, a brilliant scholar I had the privilege of collaborating with on a project called “The Virtual Window Interactive,” a companion piece to her book The Virtual Window: From Alberti to Microsoft. Anne passed away a week ago today.
In the brief time during which I worked with Anne, I found her to be not just a brilliant thinker, but a wonderful collaborator with an infectious enthusiasm for the potential of the field. “The Virtual Window Interactive” was one of those rare projects which almost seemed to design itself, as if the ideas Anne had been exploring were anxiously awaiting just this kind of outlet. The inherent visual qualities of Anne’s subject matter, the excitement she had for the medium, and the depth and clarity of her analysis made the project a real pleasure to develop.
Most of our real-time contact during the project was via three-way videoconferences between Anne, Steve Anderson (who orchestrated our meeting and facilitated the project) and myself. I had a habit of taking screenshots during these calls, and thought I’d share an image of one of our lighter moments (see below). I remember Anne being intrigued by the “windows” of the videoconferencing interface itself; throughout the development of the project she was keen to stay abreast of the dizzying changes happening in screen space and wanted the piece to speak to those changes as much as possible.
Others have reflected more thoroughly on the breadth of Anne’s considerable contributions to her field and the positive impact she had on those who knew her personally. I didn’t know Anne well, but I’m grateful for even the brief chance I had to work with such a remarkable person. Thank you, Anne.
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