Mstation Book Reviews
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Mon, 30 May 2005

Digital Art - Digipop

Karim Rashid, digipop, Taschen

Karim Rashid has been exploring computer art to generate 2D and 3D decoration. In this he declares himself to be in disagreemnt with Adolf Loos's proclamation that "ornamentation is crime". This is part of a modern movement away from what appears to be the anti-humanist thoughts of early modernists. It is, of course, a matter of context in that it was understood or at least presumed by those early twentieth century people that things would be done right -- that the materials and workmanship would actually be better than reasonable. No doubt if they could see some of the atrocities erected in their name, which looked good for approximately one week, they would have a word or two to say.

In any case, pattern and decoration seem somehow to be interesting to humans whether or not they want to paper the walls with it or wear it on their t-shirts. This book has a rich selection of such things and some are curiously exciting and interesting for reasons that seem largely intuitive. The designer/artist attempts to give them reason by referring to big brother surveilance societies and the digital claptrap that enables them. The link is spurious and self-seeking I think. These things are interesting for what they are and make poor billboards except for the tenuous idea that digital means the enabled rebellion of blogs, filesharing, and the web. The fact that people can only be a regular part of those things by being part of that system is a nice irony.

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