#391: Graduart

Gauss, the mathematical genius, once said of his most elegant proofs that when a building is complete, the scaffolding shouldn’t be still on show. Actually, some of the intellectual scaffolding underlying his thinking might well have been messy but there’s surely huge value in being brave enough to show the process of creation as well as the polished result.

This applies, I reckon, to art as well.


Today’s invention is an advanced digital ‘photoframe’. Imagine a future larger-scale frame (or a bigscreen tablet PC) which comes supplied with only one digital content element. It is a second-by-second movie of a painting or sculpture in progress. Every brush stroke or chisel blow is shown from start to finish, when the final masterpiece appears.

In this case, the frame comes with no networking cards and it’s sealed to prevent anyone hacking the internal chips without destroying their content. No-one can make copies therefore (other than by filming the screen). There might only ever be one ‘original’ sold (at a very high price for the entire high-resolution movie).

This approach, however, opens the door for visual artists also to sell lower resolution versions of their work (at a much bigger range of reduced prices than conventional prints allow). There might be versions for example in which the development is shown only every day, or in which the movie stops a few days short of completion. The highest price versions could also contain some ‘special features’ such as interviews with the artist made throughout the creative endeavour.


  1. You might want a “time lapse” mode as I imagine watching art being painted could expire many people’s attention spans.

  2. Actually, I guess this is partly an attempt to resist the move towards the five seconds attention span which everyone seems to be developing (including me). Certainly, being able to run this at varying speed would be great…maybe the display could work out when changes were happening most rapidly to the work and slow the display down during those periods.

Comments are closed