[-empyre-] complexity

tom@nullpointer.co.uk wrote:
> too right!
> I'm sick of vague 'screensaver' artworks that 'my mum' would like.
> Just because digital art can be technically complex doesn't mean to
> say we should provide simplistic work to coax in the uninitiated
> viewer.
> This is just patronising. You are not expected to understand the
> embalming process to look at a damien hirst or bronze casting to enjoy
> Gormley (although if it encourages you to investigate these processes > then good!)

It's not an issue of simplistic, it is an issue of whether the work is compelling enough in the first tens of seconds that I look at it, that I am willing to invest more time into investigating and understanding it.

Damien Hirst is a classic example - you may not understand it, but it certainly grabs your attention, and that makes you willing to invest time into understanding it. We are all competing for the viewer's time, whether we are online or off, and it's no use to gripe about our users, since they ultimately decide for themselves whether or not to bother with our piece.

John Cage made incredibly conceptual works, but so sensual that you are spellbound by them and can't help but stay and listen through the whole piece. Complexity shouldn't be a license to make boring work.

So we have the responsibility to make our work interesting - instead of blaming the viewer for not being willing to spend hours with it in order to understand it. I figure we've each got a 30 seconds to a minute or so to convince the viewer that it is worth putting attention into our piece instead of going on to the one next door, and we need to use that time fully. In fact most visitors really try hard and spend a lot of time trying to understand obscure videos/media work (certainly much harder than I ever do.)

- tamiko

 Tamiko Thiel       Media Artist



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