By Montana Wojczuk
A book of intelligent designs from the master of irrational logic.
It’s all right here in “Synaesthesia,” one of the diagrams in this playful, thought-provoking book of drawings by David Byrne—electroclash and lounge-core grow from knobby, sparkly soil. Similarly, this hilarious, silly and totally obsessive book seems to sprout fully formed from Byrne’s well-mulched mind.
“Synaesthesia” describes how one type of stimulation bubbles up into another medium—say, for example, how Byrne’s musical gifts morphed into book projects combining art and writing, first Your Action World, Strange Ritual and The New Sins and now Arboretum. Byrne uses scientific mapping systems like Venn diagrams to chart the pattern of “When Good Lovin’ Goes Bad,” both making fun of the super-rationalization engines of our brains and putting them into the service of good art.
Arboretum is a fun 101 in Byrnesian science—an intuitive poking around to find the relationships between seemingly unrelated ideas.