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Sunday, December 08, 2002

Sofa-Sized Art of THE FUTURE!

What will art be like in THE FUTURE!? Why, we'll have lighted pictures on our walls that move and talk. I went to a restaurant last night that had a back-lit picture of a waterfall, with effects that made the waterfall seem to move (not very convincing) and light ripple on the pool below (much better). It also gave off bird calls and watery sounds, which I know only because we were seated immediately under it. I looked for an on-line picture of something like it, and only came up with this company. This looks much more expensive than what the restaurant had, although the cheesy JavaScript fountain there on the home page gives a good feel for what the actual picture looked like.

Niles and I figure that in a couple years flat-screen monitors will be so cheap that they'll be used for moving art. In restaurants and bars they'll move and flash, and become as annoying as neon bar signs. It's unclear at what point art and televsion will become indistinguishable.

When I was a kid, my grandparents had a lighted picture of a mountain scene. It was just a piece of plastic with a light bulb behind it; it did not move or make any noises. I was fascinated with this; it was clearly a commercial product, but I've not seen another like it.

Google is an amazing and wondrous thing. While looking for an example of the pictures, I came across this page where you can order lighted belly-button art. Wonders will never cease.