My Hyper-Dimensional Sketchbook

My Hyper-Dimensional Sketchbook. An edited version of this article appeared on EmptyEasel.com two days ago. Here's the original:

Blogging: A Hyper-Dimensional Sketchbook Medium
Don’t just use your blog to show off your old sketchbooks…. use your blog as your sketchbook! Blogs are free, easy, optimizable, customizable, searchamizable and updatamizable from anywhere on the planet. With a mobile phone or internet access you can represent the now… right now.

Leonardo Da Vinci may be the most famous sketchbook artist of all time. Initially collections of loose paper, his drawings and sketches gradually came to inhabit bound sketchbooks and his
Codex Leicester has the honor of being the most expensive book, ever… Covering topics as diverse as anatomy, engineering, and architecture, Da Vinci sketchbooks are famous for combining both drawings and ideas on pen and paper. Created hundreds of years ago, few other sketchbooks have surpassed their shear brilliance. But even Leonardo Da Vinci could not have created a sketchbook equal what is now possible.

I first began to keep an active sketchbook three years ago, and since then I’ve filled two dozen volumes with drawings, watercolors, and sketches. My sketchbooks tend to summarize my daily adventures and they’ve most recently chronicled my move from Richmond, Virginia to London, England. Scanning and emailing pictures of those drawings to friends, family and patrons (i.e. clogging inboxes with hundreds of random images) seemed very impractical… so I started my blog,
paintings.drawings.arithmetic.

At first, I had the goal of publishing one piece of artwork per day. Only later did
paintings.drawings.arithmetic. begin to take on new life as an outlet for the present. I found myself putting up drawings and sketches for paintings that were still in progress. Then, I found myself putting up drawings and sketches for paintings that would probably never be completed. Actually, I began to use paintings.drawings.arithmetic. as a sketchbook in its’ own right, incorporating not only drawings and paintings but also photography and video.

While Leonardo Da Vinci was constrained by the 3-dimensional nature of his sketchbooks, modern artists have a completely new hyper-dimensional platform available.

Here’s why:

1) Blogging Breaks the 3-Dimensional Limitations of a Traditional Sketchbook. Moving pictures (in the form of
videos) can be added to a blog quickly and easily. Incorporating the notion of change, videos allow for a dynamic depiction of reality that is not easily possible with 2-Dimensional or 3-Dimensional media. Even sound is a possible medium.

2) Blogs Allow for Quick Referencing. When writing, I sometimes allude to specific cultural phenomenon (for instance the movie
“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”). With a blog, I can link to that event and put my drawing in context, something not possible with a standard sketchbook. While it’s certainly possible to mention watching this movie in the margin of my drawing, links allow for the nearly instantaneous elucidation of the reader. Traditional sketchbooks can only offer a limited amount of space for footnotes and references. Furthermore, links can be included on a blog as transparent page elements. With a traditional sketchbook, notes and references have aesthetic implications.

3) Blogs are Non-Linear. Western books are traditionally read front-to-back. Blogs, however, can be read backwards, forwards, sideways, horizontally, vertically and zigzag. By tagging articles and linking to old posts, artists can express an infinite number of relationships and cross-references. Actually, people can enter your sketchbook at any point. Blogs allow your sketchbook to have no beginning and no end.

4) Blogs Transcend Physical Boundaries of Space and Time. Posts from an
online sketchbook written by an artist in London can be seen by an artist in Manhattan, instantaneously. Via fiber optic cables, ideas can spread as fast as the speed of light (minus small considerations for processing and diffusion). Artists can react to the ideas and work of contemporaries even faster than it would be possible to transport a traditional sketchbook the same distance.

5) Blogs Allow for Dynamic Editing. Post a painting. Write about a drawing. Don’t like what you’ve written? Press the edit button. As your perception of significance changes, edit your old posts. And for all but the most sophisticated internet user, there will me no big blotchy mark to leave a trail. Like traveling back in time, you can use the future to put your past writings into a more knowledgeable perspective

Blogs give artists a greater scope of creation than traditional sketchbooks. Though a
hyper-dimensional online sketchbook can be neither held nor touched, such a sketchbook allows artists to communicate and render reality via an entirely new medium. By allowing artists to inject the dynamic into a traditionally static endeavor, blogs allow an insight into the process of creation that has never before been possible.
Thank again to EmptyEasel.com for including this article on their website!

3 comments:

meg said...

you amaze me more every day.

Sarah said...

This approach is going on more in the fiber arts world, too. It was good to read your analyzation. Thanks.

sumita's artworld said...

That's a great idea!