Not all design is art and not all art is achieved by design


My daughter has discovered Pixlr, a cloud-based photo-editing tool and photo-sharing device designed for non-professional users. I suppose this is another example of the democratizing nature of the web. It levels the playing field for storytellers everywhere.

It used to be the case that ‘art’ was a studied discipline that attempted to capture the spontaneity and instantaneity of beautiful things as they happen. Art, as the experts saw it, sought to recreate and further define moments of inspiration, moments of recognition or appreciation. Not that it was ever without mystery. Art was and always will be the breath that you are holding, the fingers that you are crossing, the candle on the cake that you are about to blow out; the moment just before the penny drops. In fact its probably fair to say that its life-cycle and its ability to survive is screwed without this quality. But for once its like we can dare to appreciate the rainbow without even thinking about what lies at the end of it. Young people are not getting hung-up on meaning, they’re not so easily freezed-out by high-culture and not so bummed out by the successful marriage between creative intent and academic achievement.

And that just has to be a good thing, right?

Today art doesn’t have to recreate the moment. With tools like Pixlr art can be ‘of the moment’, ‘in the moment’ and re-distributed and recycled across the world in moments. Thoughts and ideas ripple like waves from one terminal to the next and it doesn’t have to really mean anything, it just has to connect. It seeks continuity rather than permanence. It celebrates the fleeting, the evanescent. It is fugitive by nature and fantastically and incorrigibly without purpose; the sound of the blood rushing to the brain before even the chance of a thought could enter it.

Pixlr says it is ready to make moments beautiful wherever you are and whenever inspiration strikes. And this is how beauty is likely to be appreciated in the future; not by design by no-design.

Beauty will be in the imperfection.

Perhaps I ought to have that turned into a T-Shirt.