14 Jan 2018
Viewers often imbue your work with very specific meaning that you might not have intended. SMASHED TO PIECES (IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT) (1991), a large public work in Vienna, was interpreted by many there as referring to the events of Kristallnacht.
That piece had nothing to do with Kristallnacht. It was to do with the fact that listening to smashing bottles in a major city such as Vienna takes on a very different tone in the middle of the night. You make something because you like the green of a Jameson bottle of whisky, you put it out there, and somebody responds because they have this desperate need to understand their relationship to green for whatever reason. Either they were brutalised in Ireland or green was the colour of the eyes of the only person that they ever fell in love with. They can take what you’ve made and use it in their life to understand their place in the real world. All art should be this universal. Artists have a role in this society and it’s a real honest to goodness role. And that’s to take these universal things and place them out there and… be that as it may.
03 Aug 2015
It was one of those days, when it’s a minute away from snowing, and there’s this electricity in the air. You can almost hear it, right? And this bag was just dancing with me, like a little kid begging me to play with it, for fifteen minutes.
That’s the day I realized there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force, that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video’s a poor excuse, I know, but it helps me remember. I need to remember.
Sometimes there is so much… beauty… in the world, I feel like I can’t take it, and my heart is just going to cave in.
Thomas Newman - American Beauty
18 Jun 2014
when you don’t create things, you become defined by your tastes rather than ability. your tastes only narrow & exclude people. so create.
_why the lucky stiff
06 Mar 2014
I’ll close with my usual advice to peers: reading this email was valuable (knock on wood). Watching Jason’s video is valuable. Rolling up your sleeves and actually shipping something is much, much more valuable. If you take no other advice from me ever, ship something. You’ll learn more shipping a failure than you’ll learn from reading about a thousand successes. And you stand an excellent chance of shipping a success — people greatly overestimate how difficult this is.
Just don’t end the week with nothing.
21 Nov 2012
I tell my students, “the language in which you’ll spend most of your working life hasn’t been invented yet, so we can’t teach it to you. Instead we have to give you the skills you need to learn new languages as they appear.”