Wild, Wild Life

Via Financial Times


New York executives may think they've had their fill of PowerPoint presentations from talking heads.

But they'll be tempted to attend another one when Wired magazine opens a new installation featuring PowerPoint artwork from David Byrne, former Talking Heads lead singer.

The exhibit, which runs from today through to next Wednesday in the lobby of Condé Nast's Times Square headquarters, incorporates original photos and music by Byrne as well as graphics and icons more often seen in marketing pitches created on the Microsoft software.

Arrows that should point to a rising stock price swirl across Byrne's PowerPoint palette, taking on rainbow colours. In another piece, a line drawing of Dan Rather's profile is expanded to the nth degree and overlayed on the back of Patrick Stewart's magnified head.

Wired is sponsoring the show, having published an excerpt from Byrne's new book, Envisioning Epistemological Information, in its September issue. Byrne's essay derides PowerPoint as a "limiting, inflexible, and biased" software that "makes hilariously bad-looking visuals".

"I began by making fun of the medium," he explains. But "I soon realised I could actually create things that were beautiful, bend the program to my own whim and use it as an artistic agent."

Steven Florio, chief executive of Condé Nast, can only hope Byrne inspires his staffers.

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