Slide from David Byrne’s DVD/Book of PowerPoint Art
Veronique Vienne’s got a sweet article in the Times about David Byrne’s artistic exploration of PowerPoint. She casts a rather benign look at the way PowerPoint influences forms of discourse and thought. Maybe it’s Stockholm Syndrome; after all, Arts & Leisure editor Jodi Kantor used to be at Slate. (“But some of my best friends use PowerPoint!”)
But then, she’s got a pretty clear-eyed quote from Byrne: “You have to try to think like the guy in Redmond or Silicon Valley. You feel that your mind is suddenly molded by the thinking of some unknown programmer. It’s a collaboration, but it’s not reciprocal.” [8/21 Update: the title of Info design guru Edward Tufte’s Wired Mag article says it all: “PowerPoint is Evil” Bonus quote: “PowerPoint style routinely disrupts, dominates, and trivializes content. Thus PowerPoint presentations too often resemble a school play -very loud, very slow, and very simple.”]
As a PowerPoint geek, exploring the software’s implications is, like fresh breath, a priority in my life. [Cf. PowerPoint as a Creative Medium, which has additional ppt examples and articles.] A couple of months ago, Byrne gave a few of us a tour of his gallery show at Pace McGill, where they pre-released his hypnotic PowerPoint book/DVD, E.E.E.I. (Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information). Good stuff.
And before you leave the Times‘ place, why not look over my article on video art bootlegging.