Marc Dryer, the chair of the conference, had asked me to speak about six months ago. I was extremely honored, and I gladly accepted. I didn't think about it for a few months and then got an email from him asking me to give him the title and abstract of the talk. This was a week before I went on my semi-mandatory sabbatical. I reached into the depths of my burned-out and anxiety-riddled brain and came up a speech title and abstract, then quickly forgot about it.
When I got back from Arizona, I started preparing my talk. It wasn't until I got to Toronto and took a look at the program that I was reminded of the title of my talk: "The true potential of 3D." I felt the blood drain from my face. "True"? I pictured being introduced and being met by the stony silence of 500 members.
So I started my presentation by discussing how ridiculously pompous the title of my talk was. I got a few good laughs and was able to move on feeling that the audience was generally on my side.
I went on to show some old Scientific American graphics that have influenced me.
I spoke about the studio's evolution of illustration and information graphics. Then spoke about how these have led into my fine art. I included some slides of my early forays into 3D. Pretty awful stuff. Crowds always appreciate seeing where I came from, especially students.
The general feedback I got from people after the talk was that it was emotional and inspiring. Hearing the word "emotional" was surprising. But I was glad to hear it nonetheless.
I was going to end my talk with a quote of Einstein's. But I chickened out. I was a little gun-shy after the title experience. I wish I had read it in retrospect.
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed."
Albert Einstein, "The World As I See It," originally published in FORUM AND CENTURY, 1931.Given that most of my work is related to science, I take this quote to heart. The following video installation I am working on speaks to this:
Its base structure is of the circulatory system. Yet by viewing it in a different light there is a sense of mystery in the work.