As I’ve been learning more and more about Systems Thinking I realize that for some reason a common theme in our insane society is to reduce things into the absurd, and believe that this helps us in any way. We can see this delusion when academic achievement of students is reduced to “grades”, when ways to measure company success is reduced to “KPI’s”, when the popularity of a blog post is measured in “likes”, and so on.
This reductio ad absurdum inspired me to make an art project, the first in my life. Art is, or so it seems, a good way to deal with the depressing weight of the insanity around us. Some do it through satire, some through music, some through writing. The ways are as varied as the craziness in our world.
So here it is: the Reductio Ad Absurdum Of Art. Basically, I’ve taken a number of famous art pieces and averaged the colors down to a single pixel, which then is enlarged so you can see it on the screen. I then took the same art piece, but which had a Simpson twist, and performed the same process. When you see them side by side it is hard, if not impossible, to figure out which one is a masterpiece, and which one is a Simpson-esque satire.
And that, in itself, sums up the absurdity of trying to reduce anything down to a number, and expect it to mean anything beyond just a number. Which company is a master of their trade, and which ones are Simpson-esque charlatans? If all you see is a reduced number, then how would you know?
On that note: Enjoy
The last supper
The Persistence of Memory
In other words
To try to reduce what we see around us to simple numbers, and expect them to mean anything, is absurd. And yet, this is what we do on a daily basis with anything that is important to us. The only thing we can know for sure, is that we can never know anything for sure, if everything is reduced to its absurdity.
Thanks for watching