December 05, 2006

Execution, Compression & a Visual World

There is nothing like a trip to the museum. So full of great thinking, so much inspiration, so filled with interesting destinies, existential questions, so much breathtaking creativity.

What fascinate me about artist are the many roles they fulfil in a creative production compared to the amount persons and functions in takes in the communication business. The artist has all the hats on in the role of the researcher, the strategist, the creative, the implementer – a one man band.

Two weeks ago I was on a little romantic trip to Paris with my girlfriend among many other things we paid a visit to the always great Centre Pompidou – Modern Art Museum.

There where lot’s of great exhibitions going on but especially three of them got me thinking in the direction of some of the hot topics in the communication sphere.

Simplicity, Complexity and Compression

The on-going discussion around planning blogs have been on how to be both complex and nuanced at the same time as having a simple overall idea/essence/concept easily understandable even at a glance. Lately Russell Davies has talked about compression as the answer to something that can be both understood from a simple point of view and can be decompressed out into a much more complex understanding.

Yves Klein is simply a terrific example of this. He has his monochrome deep blue colour – which is even called international Klein Blue – and this colour goes through almost all of his work. What seems a little too easy and one-dimensional a first quickly becomes very exciting going through the exhibitions of his. The blue colour only acts as an over layer for his different experiments. It’s a complex variety of his different shapes, his paint methods like ballet choreography, his symphonic orchestra playing only one tone, him using blue painted models as brushes, his architectural projects, his “blue” sound works, his film sets and more.
More about him here:
A visual world

Without downplaying the importance of the written word I’m probably not alone with the opinion that in a world of communication clutter we need more visually outstanding communication. Not just because it travels better across borders, but also because all new research point in the direction of emotions and pictures are more important than actual message understanding. Benetton’s Fabrica school is a great lab for thinking in this area. They held an exhibition to celebrate their 10 year anniversary. Lot’s of interesting stuff there.

There is off-course the classical Oliviero Toscani style above (which I admire more from a visual point of view – but have certain problems with on a more ethical level)
The exhibition seen from above

Lots of great stuff thought provoking stuff like the examples above.

Most interesting is the things they do in interactive/digital fields.

The 10x10 site ( was created here by the near genius Jonathan Harris. An artist & digital designer. See his other brilliant stuff here
An interactive news channel.
A wall that appears to be displaying you live, but is actually build out of different delayed pictures.
This a moving images wall that each shows your continuous actions frame by micro frame in front of a camera.
This is the big canvas electronic Moleskine.

Off-course there is quite a lot of the usual anti capitalism/anti Americanism/anti imperialism stuff. Which seems a little easy and tired compared to the other stuff.

Overall an interesting school and probably interesting people to hire.
Execution is strategy

Finally there was the museums repeating experiment to do new thematic presentations of it’s own collection. The exhibition was called
Le mouvement des images (Art & Cinema) and proposes a rereading of 20th century art through the filmmaking. It’s based around organised around the basic components of film – frame roll, projection, story and editing. It clearly shows that art have been very inspired by the cinematic world and that your theme/strategy is seldom where the magic happens. This is great exploration into the magic of execution where your experiments with different techniques are the strategy itself.

So when in Paris go see all of this.

1 comment:

sean said...

Brilliant stuff, thanks for posting these pics.