Tuesday, June 29, 2004


I read this in my email today (29th June 2004): 'Feast your eyes on the stunning 30-inch (diagonal) Apple Cinema HD Display—the largest high-resolution LCD ever designed for the personal computer.'

A 30 inch monitor is impressive by anyone's standards but what impressed upon me the most was the fact that in the future there will surely be no standard computer monitor - that the choice of monitor type will be governed by its utility.

I'm thinking about this mainly from an artist's point of view, which is, admittedly, a fairly rarefied view. But I often see the monitor as providing a 'frame' for a piece of work. Apple states that 'big ideas need big canvasses' but this is not universally true. It's an obvious comment but many of the most profound ideas, in art and elsewhere, have necessarily been represented through small or humble means. In art, for every 'Guernica' there is a 'Scream'.

Leaving aside the metaphoric implications of 'big is best', although we may make computer-based work which is fluid, indeterminate, ever-changing, for such work there is an even greater need perhaps to have a fixed and stable 'framing' device - and this is may be contingent upon monitor size. This is not to say that one cannot make works which are also non-determined in relation to their scale i.e. that are made to respond to a range of televisual dimensions but this would be a branch of the art in itself.

In essence what I am saying is that monitor size has become another variable - some artists will choose to keep this variable constant, some will choose to place it within the realm of chance.

But you cannot assume a fixed attitude to this new variable - not everyone will choose to make use of it because 'big is best'.

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