Tuesday, December 7, 2010

First e-books, now e-art

I don't know how I feel about e-books. Actually, I do know. I don't feel anything about them. Granted, I don't have an e-reader, so maybe that would change the experience for me, but I do have kindle for the iphone. And that app sits idle, still on chapter one of Dracula, which I downloaded (free) in the spirit of the holiday. Yes, the Halloween holiday, two months ago. I'm just not motivated to read it, though I've probably read five or six physical books in the same time. So I find it hard to rouse any kind of interest or emotion, even a very negative one, in e-books. If it comes to the Gutenberg Armageddon where I either read an e-book or don't read, then I'll e-book, of course. But I can't help think that the ephemeral quality of e-books diminishes the quality of the experience.

Strong reactions are not a problem when I think about the new David Hockney exhibit currently on at the Pierre Berge-Yves St. Laurent Foundation in Paris. The exhibit consists of 20 iphones and 20 ipads mounted on walls and showing work that David Hockney has created, with an app called 'Brushes' on the devices. While the exhibit is going on, he will occasionally send in a new piece and it will be displayed on one of the devices. The devices are on 24 hours a day until the end of January when they are turned off - The images wont be saved. They'll just be gone.

Ephemera in art is nothing new - performance art, installation art etc. Some art is not about being an object, but about the experience of the viewer and about the fleeting and un-ownable nature of that art. I get it, I went to art school. It just leaves me so cold. This isn't the kind of art I want to be close to. To me, it speaks of the general gesture of Art rather than the personal experience, either of the artist or of the viewer. Cold, cold cold... BUT.

I want to get Brushes. I want to see what it can do. If Angry Birds can keep me up until one in the morning, even knowing Lyra will be up before dawn then, dagnabbit, I bet Brushes can keep me up all night. The ease of use, bestowing of technical prowess, I'll admit, I want a piece of that action. So, in the e-art revolution am I (and are you), skipping down the steps of eventual conversion, are you a stalwart hold out, or are you already there?

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