The 2004 Wired Rave Awards:
Art: David Byrne
For bending our minds with PowerPoint Slides
Wired Magazine, Issue
12.04 : April 2004
Photo by F. Scott Schafer
is best known for mind-numbing presentations that transform bumbling
salespeople into confident, corporate warriors. But David Byrne
used the software to produce evocative — and controversial — art.
Here are a few bullet points, as told to Blaise Zerega, about Byrne's
PowerPoint conversion and his book/DVD Envisioning Emotional
• A big part of American culture is business culture. I owe
it to myself to acknowledge it, to say, OK, this is part of my life,
part of my work, part of the world I live in.
PowerPoint can make almost anything appear good and look professional.
Quite frankly, I find that a little bit frightening.
Slickness is not always something that is desired. It's just trying
to knock you over, trying to hype you up. That's a danger if there's
actually nothing there.
Sometimes when you put on the mask or the clothes of a character,
you take on some of the aspects of the character. I guess that's
what happened to me. I found that I was enjoying it.
In one of my favorite images, lots of overlapping words are tightly
layered on top of each other. One of the few recognizable words
Galleries are my obvious venue, but I find that my presentations
work very well in public, non-art spaces, places where people who
work in offices can interact with it. They gasp and say, "Oh
my god, that's done with PowerPoint!"