The View From 32


APRIL 12, 2007    More below:  NEW MEDIA   |  STORYTELLING

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. 1922-2007

"Still and all, why bother?
Here's my answer.
Many people need desperately to receive this message:
I feel and think much as you do,
care about many of the things you care about,
although most people do not care about them.
You are not alone."
                              —Kurt Vonnegut

A message to bloggers, writers, artists everywhere, I think.

Vonnegut on Pictures (Timequake, 1996 via wikiquote)

If you really want to know whether your pictures are, as you say, art or not, you must display them in a public place somewhere, and see if strangers like to look at them. That is the way the game is played. Let me know what happens. People capable of liking some paintings or Picture of Kurt Vonnegutprints or whatever can rarely do so without knowing something about the artist. Again, the situation is social rather than scientific. Any work of art is half of a conversation between two human beings, and it helps a lot to know who is talking to you. Does he or she have a reputation for seriousness, for religiosity, for suffering, for concupiscence, for rebellion, for sincerity, for jokes? There are virtually no respected paintings made by persons about whom we know zilch. We can even surmise quite a bit about the lives of whoever did the paintings in the caverns underneath Lascaux, France. I dare to suggest that no picture can attract serious attention without a particular sort of human being attached to it in the viewer’s mind. If you are unwilling to claim credit for your pictures, and to say why you hoped others might find them worth examining, there goes the ball game.

Pictures are famous for their humanness, and not their pictureness. There is also the matter of craftsmanship. Real picture-lovers like to play-along, so to speak, to look closely at the surfaces, to see how the illusion was created. If you are unwilling to say how you made your pictures, there goes the ball game a second time.

Official Vonnegut website.


New Media Master

Transart Instittute: Low residency international MFA program in New Media



How a story can be told in many different ways, similar to what we discuss in the Intro to Visual Communication class:
99 Ways to Tell a Story, by Matt Madden. Another great overview of the same is Scott McClouds' Understanding Comics [ summary | Scott's website ].