[Wo]MANtransFORMS

 T
he Cooper Hewitt’s [http://www.cooperhewitt.org/ ] October 1976 International exhibition Aspects of Design;  conceived by Hans Hollein and sponsored by The Johnson Wax Company [http://www.scjohnson.com/en/home.aspx] showcased the perspectives of 10 men; a veritable calculus of vision and imagination made tangible by a thin, bound-paper companion, which I possess; now slightly yellowed — smelling deliciously of age, wisdom, creativity and intellect.

Flipping through its 172 pages — titled:  MAN transFORMS, I feel a rush; a high; addicted as I am to history and time and my sense of place 35 years later.

Tasked with writing the Introduction; George Nelson [http://www.georgenelson.org/] begins:

"The real meaning of big words — important words —are often hard to nail down.   Think of “freedom,” “democracy,” “inalienable rights,” and the range of images they evoke.
. . . The myriad categories of design are another example of the proliferation of specialties split off from once-unified disciplines.  Science splits into biology, to take one field, which is then fragmented into splinters like biophysics, biochemistry, molecular biology and so on.  We live in a technological Tower of Babel where each individual is full of answers, but unable to pass them on to anyone outside the specialty.” 

 We know; and must squarely recognize without another click — or TRANSposition of our chosen browser — the Internet, the Web — Digital Life has transFORMED Us; upending Nelson’s 20th Century parameters and ‘limitations’  while catapulting us to what some have called “pro-Democracy” movements; and still others “Citizen Occupations.”



Joan Didion;   one of America’s most incisive and exacting writers became quite famous [and remains so today] by reporting on what she observed:

  "Where are we heading, they asked it in all the television and radio studios.  They asked it in New York and Los Angeles and they asked it in Boston and Washington and they asked it in Dallas and Houston and Chicago and San Francisco.  Sometimes they made eye contact as they asked it. Sometimes they closed their eyes as they asked it.  Quite often they wondered not just where we were heading but where we were heading “as Americans,” or “as concerned Americans,” or as “American women,” or on one occasion “as the American guy and the American woman.” [On The Road, 1977]

Didion began her ‘real-time’ 2006 narrative: The Year of Magical Thinking in this way:

Life changes fast.
Life changes in the instant.

 @ Issue in 1976 —
As the World Wide Web insists it remains today—
Change    .
Drilling Down:

No comments:

Post a Comment