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Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information

I have been working with PowerPoint, the ubiquitous presentation software, as an art medium for a number of years. It started off as a joke (this software is a symbol of corporate salesmanship, or lack thereof) but then the work took on a life of its own as I realized I could create pieces that were moving, despite the limitations of the "medium." I have shown these pieces in galleries and museums and most recently have produced a book with a DVD (Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information) as means of presenting these curiosities.

Click on the thumbnails for more pictures.


E.E.E.I. book/DVD
Still images
Pace/MacGill Gallery, NYC
Condé Nast Lobby, NYC
Tokyo Installation


• Trees, Tombstones and Bullet Points, George Eastman House, Rochester, NY, September 25, 2004 – February 6, 2005 (Solo)

• The End of Reason, PowerPoint installation, Condé Nast building lobbies, 4 Times Square, New York, NY, September 10 – 17, 2003 (Public)

• What is It?, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC, July 19 – September 26, 2003 (Solo)

• David Byrne, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, NY, March 6 – April 26, 2003 (Solo)

• Tokyo Art Jungle, Tokyo International Forum, August 13 – 15, 2002 (Group)

• Indices: New and Ongoing Work by David Byrne, Maryland Institute College of Art, Decker Gallery, Baltimore, MD, November 9 – December 16, 2001 (Solo)


• Design by David Byrne and Danielle Spencer
• Published by Steidl and Pace/MacGill, Göttingen, Germany 2003
• 96 full-color pages with a gatefold, four transparent overlays and a PAL/NTSC-readable DVD in the die-cut cover
• 13.8 x 10.5 in. / 35 x 26.6 cm
• Clothbound hardcover with a cloth-covered and labeled slipcase
• US $ 80.00 / Euro 50.00
• ISBN 3-88243-907-6


Wired RAVE Award for Art, 2004


• DB "I PowerPoint" lectures


"Imelda Marcos, in her own words": "In the 20 years since she and her late husband, the former president Ferdinand Marcos, were driven into exile and disgrace by something called "people power," she has retrofitted her tangled philosophy of life into a truly incomprehensible Power Point presentation."
The International Herald Tribune,
March 8, 2006

"Imelda, Fatboy, a cabaret and me": "In the subversive music/art world of David Byrne, it is perfectly sensible to give a (sell-out) Adelaide Festival of Arts presentation on the history and flaws of the ubiquitous PowerPoint, using PowerPoint, and a cabaret show based on the life of the former Filipino first lady Imelda Marcos omitting all reference to her shoes."
The Sydney Morning Herald,
February 22, 2006

"PowerPoint Pathos": "He was drawn to PowerPoint because its inane, pronoun-free language is so often the butt of jokes."
Financial Times
, May 15, 2005

"Using PowerPoint Analyzed by Artist": "Byrne likened PowerPoint in some respects to Eastern theatrical productions and the works of playwrights like Bertolt Brecht and Antonin Artaud."
New University Paper
, UC Irvine, March 30, 2005

"The Art of PowerPoint": "While he is delighted to poke fun at the program, Byrne suggests that the medium itself is not the sole factor behind ill-fated attempts at over-simplifying complex information."
The Toronto Star
, March 13, 2005

• "David Byrne Explores the Artistic Possibilities of PowerPoint in Berkeley Lecture": "'PowerPoint is a symptom of a long train of thought that started picking up steam during the Enlightenment,' he says…"
San Francisco Chronicle
, March 11, 2005

• "No Backing Band, Just David Byrne and PowerPoint": "You wouldn't expect this kind of packed house for a normal PowerPoint presentation…"
Seattle Times
, March 8, 2005

"David Byrne Really Does PowerPoint, Berkeley Presentation Shows": "What Tufte and other critics are missing, he said, was that PowerPoint was just one element of the presentation…"
UC Berkeley News
, March 8, 2005

"With the Lights Out, Henry Art Gallery": "…[Byrne's PowerPoint pieces] managed to remind me of both vintage Michael Jackson videos and the Russian ballet."
Seattle Weekly
, March 8, 2005

• "David Byrne Apparently Loves PowerPoint": "I'm using a medium that's ubiquitous, that everybody knows about, and maybe using it in a slightly different way, giving it a little twist or tweak..."
OC Weekly
, March 4, 2005

"Byrne, Baby, Byrne": "Byrne's PowerPoint presentations are anything but businesslike..."
LA Weekly
, March 4, 2005

• "Business as Poetry, David Byrne's PowerPoint Art": "David Byrne is one of my favorite polymaths — making music, directing films and videos, scoring soundtracks, and creating art. Still I was surprised by his latest project, I [heart] PowerPoint..."
The Stranger,
March 3, 2005

• "David Byrne Makes his Point": "… [Byrne] has some trenchant observations about a mode of communication that has, in Byrne's opinion, become the message, not the messenger."
The Oregonian
, March 2, 2005

"Vulture Culture, David Byrne Ponders the Popularity of PowerPoint": "...Perhaps the definition of an artist, then, is someone who gets nostalgic ahead of his or her time, and senses the importance of the pop culture right in front of our eyes that everyone else is sauntering merrly past..."
Creative Loafing
, February 23, 2005

• "Musician Uses Business Program for Ironic Avant-Garde Art": "...despite his initial disdain for the program, Byrne became intrigued by its artistic potential..."
“Day to Day”, January 14, 2004 (audio interview and text)

• "Does PowerPoint make us stupid?": "Rock star David Byrne turns PowerPoint into art."
wire story, December 30, 2003

• "The Epistemology of David Byrne": "The man behind a new book and PowerPoint presentation is not your average Talking Head."
Newsweek Entertainment
, December 13, 2003

"Turning Heads with PowerPoint": "From televised presidential aircraft carrier visits to the glut of unreal reality TV shows, 'American culture is becoming a culture of pageants,' says David Byrne."
Wired News
, December 9, 2003

• "PowerPoint, Art: With the Program": "His talk, in fact, is titled 'I (love) PowerPoint.' Why? 'That's where a lot of people live these days — in software programs,' Byrne said..."
Los Angeles Times
, December 4, 2003

• "Still Making Sense": "Same as he ever was? Not likely..."
The Daily Telegraph
, Sydney, Australia, October 1, 2003

• "Learning to Love PowerPoint": "We interrupt this magazine for a PowerPoint presentation: For artist and musician David Byrne, the medium is the message."
Magazine, September 2003

• "Wild, Wild Life": "New York executives may think they've had their fill of presentations from Talking Heads..."
Financial Times
, September 10, 2003

• "David Byrne's Alternate PowerPoint Universe": "With his newest project, David Byrne has tried not only to see [PowerPoint] anew, but also to use it in the least likely of all applications: a medium for creative expression."
The New York Times
, August 17, 2003


Point Counter Point: How to Use (and Avoid Misusing) PowerPoint, The New York Times
The Gettysburg PowerPoint Presentation, Peter Norvig
The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint, Edward Tufte

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