Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thank you Mark Allen

Sorry I've been away from the site for a while. I was on vacation in northern Wisconsin, where, yes, I got quite a bit of reading done. Plus I've been busy with my day job at Coffee House Press, and since I've just been named publisher there, there is quite a bit to learn.

Which is another reason I'm excited for Reading Room. I have to remind myself, and I hope you do the same, that it's worthwhile to take time for yourself, and, in my case, take time doing something I love (reading) to remind myself why I do the job in the first place.

The other day I went to a lecture by Mark Allen, head of the very cool Machine Project at the very cool Soap Factory.

The talk more or less explained what Machine Project is, since they are in town for the very cool Open Field at the Walker Art Center. (Reading Room is part of Open Field this summer.)

At one point in the lecture, he talked about how sometimes people treat art they don't understand in a way that is different than how they view other things. That is, if the viewer/reader/whatever doesn't understand the work of art, it's considered "bad." (This is especially true in book reviewing, I can tell you.)

However, replace "art" with "physics." No one, Mark says, who doesn't know much about physics, takes a look at a complicated physics equation and says, "I don't understand this physics, it must be bad."

I think I am going to be using that example for a very long time. Thank you, Mark Allen.

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