52 SONGS

...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life...

Monday, March 9, 2015

19. "you can create amazing things"

Saturday, I heard a pretty great lecture a watched a performance by the New York artist Joshua Clayton, whose work is largely based on experiencing the world through myriad digital tools and the languages that underlie them. At any rate, for my "Sunday" lenten entry, I thought the good word would be from his lecture. He showed the following image:
He told us that he rejected the first clause of the subtitle: "When you start with amazing products." He put a second image up, identical to the first, but this time the clause was blacked out, as if it had been redacted. The message then became "you can create amazing things." The aural banality of this statement disguises how profound it is. (Mercifully, none of the lecture had that studied pieces-clicking-into-place vibe that a TED talk has.) Clayton was using Apple products for his presentation, but I like to think he used them the way John Berger, in Ways of Seeing, describes the geniuses of painting using the commissions they received from powerful people: by subtly challenging, through honest reflection, the image powerful people so often have of themselves.

No comments: