Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Here at the Bookery I took down a magazine new to me called Contemporary. There's a terrific conversation there between designer Bruce Mau and everyone's favorite Talking Head, David Byrne. I particularly liked Mau's response to Byrne's question about who the audience for his work was:
BM: I think, rightly or wrongly, in terms of a very broad audience, young and old, near and far, hip and square, art and science, students and practitioners. And at the same time, I imagine that audience as a single individual. Someone who is generous and open, willing to be challenged and surprised, interested in difficult formulations and not afraid. One thing I learned from my collaborators at Zone Books was that when you assume intelligence on the receiving end of your work, you add dignity to the world.

DB: A beautiful phrase, that.

BM: Probably the most damaging and demoralising effect of the field of visual communications is the degree to which we fail to do this, we fail to begin with the assumption that the consumer is a citizen first, that they have the capacity to deal with reality in all its complexities. If you think about it, most people during their lifetime have the responsibility of raising children, a challenge infinitely more complex than anything else we ask of them. As a culture we often set the bar too low.
I would submit that you could substitue "poetry" for "the field of visual communications" and still retain most of the truth value of Mau's statement. He well articulates what I try to live by.

1 comment:

The Blah Brain said...

Hey, you live in Ithaca? So do I! ha

Popular Posts