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By Ken Henderson (BFA ’90)

What interested me (about a computer painting for the new millennium) was a tribute to the visionary artists of the early 1900s. I’ve focused on Belgian surrealist René Magritte’s “This is not a pipe” work from 1928 because it helped change the way we think about art. He presents an unusual juxtaposition of ordinary objects that gives new meaning to familiar things. In a hundred years, anything that might be going on in the art world today—especially computer-related disciplines—might be seen as groundbreaking in the redefinition of art. So to pay homage to these artists by recreating one of their pieces, as it were, seems to fit the whole theme.

Computers are known for the supposed ‘perfection’ that they create. I’ve had people walk into a design room and look at some pencil drawings and ask if they were made with a computer. The perception is that you can have an idea and that by pushing a button you make it so. It’s a sentiment that really bothers me, especially when I know that untold hours are spent at the computer to execute even the simplest concepts.

Ken Henderson is production designer/art director for the Fox television network’s computer animated kid’s show “Beast Machines.”


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