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Art's In The Head, Not The Hand: A Digital Retrospective
Ken Stange
Published by Two Cultures Press (2015)

Ken Stange is the prize-winning author of eighteen books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, but for three decades he has also devoted substantial effort to the creation of visual art. He attributes the opportunity to satisfy his desire to create with images as well as words to scientific advances and the resulting technology—specifically the personal computer. All his artworks are digital images. This retrospective is a ‘hard copy’ of the complete first one hundred digital art series.

Two Cultures Press (2015)
ISBN: 978-0-9939201-5-8
Full colour softcover (8.5x11 inches) 296 pages.
Signed by author edition: $75 (with free shipping!)

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Art's In The Head, Not The Hand: A Digital Retrospective

Art's In The Head, Not The Hand (2015)


From The Introduction

When Truman Capote was asked for his opinion of Jack Kerouac’s writing he allegedly replied, “That’s not writing. That’s typing.” Sarcasm aside, the remark reminds me of an important distinction: that between possession of a particular skill and the creative application of that skill. Obviously an expert typist does not make a great writer—or even suggest any potential. However, in the visual arts excellent draftsmanship skills are often taken as evidence of ‘artistic’ ability. It isn’t. It may be common among practising artists and it is certainly useful, but it is neither necessary nor sufficient to the creation of visual art.

Photography took a long time to be accepted as an art precisely because it didn’t involve or require skill at drawing or painting or sculpting. However, it was embraced by people who had the one really necessary characteristic for the creation of art: creative ideas. The camera was a new tool and required new skills—skills that were not sensori-motor.

We have technology to thank for the revolution in the visual arts that resulted from photography.

And now technology has further enabled those wishing to create visual art. It is what has enabled me, whose attempts at drawing resemble the efforts of a not very coordinated three-year old. And it has satisfied a profound desire to create something that speaks to different part of our brains than words do…

…So upon completing my 100th series, it seemed appropriate to indulge my writer’s instinct to see my work in print. I may do all my writing in the virtual world of a word processor, but its final incarnation is in the real world of a physical book. So, too, it seems only right and apt for me to present a retrospective of my artworks in a physical book.

That I’m a writer obviously means I have a passion for the written word. However this does not diminish my appreciation for many of the other arts. My interest in visual art came early, when as a teenager I spent many happy hours wandering the halls of the Art Institute of Chicago. So it has been extremely gratifying to reciprocate my appreciation by actually making some small contribution to this art form. And as with my writing, I hope the results of my creative efforts afford a few people some aesthetic pleasure.

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