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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Robert E. Horn (information design-artist) 415-775-7377
firstname.lastname@example.org · http://www.macrovu.com
San Francisco. With this first-ever exhibit of its kind, the Stroom Center for the Visual Arts is focusing international attention on Information Design as a newly emerging discipline and art form. The exhibit will open at the gallery of the Stroom Center in The Hague, in The Netherlands on January 25, 2000 and is first to present information design as public art in a major gallery. "Information design combines science, technology, and artistic expression to help people understand and give meaning to their lives as well as to help them accomplish the most practical of tasks," says Robert E. Horn, one of the information designer-artists whose work is presented in the exhibit. "It is this combination of science, technology and art that makes the Information Design movement so critical to many aspects of contemporary fine art as well as to conventional graphic design values."
The exhibit "InfoArcadia" will run until April 22nd, 2000 and will include 21 designer-artists from 6 countries. "The exhibit marks a milestone in the work of information design-artists as a movement," said Horn. "It is the first recognition by a major art center of an important new movement in design and art." Horn is currently a visiting scholar at the Program on People, Computers, and Design, of the Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University.
Horn's work shown in the exhibit is a series of seven colorful "argumentation maps" that portray one of the "Great Philosophical Debates" of our time on the questions: " Can computers think?" and "Will computers ever be able to truly think and what difference will this make to our conceptions of human identity?" The maps trace diagrammatically over 800 claims and rebuttals in the debate that has raged world-wide over the past 50 years. The maps are innovative philosophical documents, useful navigational aids to complex concepts, and, at the same time, artistic pieces.
"The argumentation maps show how the linguistic conventions of engineering diagraming, cartooning, and illustration are coming together to form a new language that enables us to express complex ideas in ways that text by itself has a difficult, if not impossible, way of expressing," says Horn, who has recently written a book entitled Visual Language: Global Communication for the 21st Century, which is the first to explore the syntax and semantics of this emerging language. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Maps for reproduction in your publication are available. Web site for the publisher of the book and maps is <www.macrovu.com> ). Says the distinguished philosopher, Stephen Toulmin, "Robert Horn's explorations into the visual display of information put flesh on Ludwig Wittgenstein's account of factual language as an instrument for 'representing' states of affairs; and his novel device of 'argumentation mapping' is a fresh and powerful step forward in the display of information, and the analysis of the complex issues that face us at the end of the 20th century."
"I see a whole new genre of art welling up around the world that has at its centerpiece-- meaning," says Horn. "Modern art, after conducting some magnificent experiments in visual creativity in the last half of the 19th century and then the first half of the 20th, has lost the narrative and human connection that art in previous centuries had. I believe we are seeing a new band of artists who are thoroughly grounded in both visual talent and, most importantly, in the full complexity of modern life, which requires the methods and techniques of visual information design to permit communication and expression."
In addition to their entry into the domain of the fine arts, information designers are also a gathering force struggling for the heart of contemporary graphic design as well , says Horn, who is also regarded as one of the major innovators and theoreticians of the information design movement. He suggested in a chapter in a recent MIT Press book. Information Design, that information designers and graphic designers literally worship different Gods. "Information design-artists worship the gods of clarity, precision, legibility, comprehensibility and simplicity in communication while the currently fashionable graphic design field worships the values of style, novelty, impact and self-expression," Horn explains. "That makes a huge difference in what the artistic work looks like, as you will see from the exhibit."
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Horn is available for interviews at 415-775-7377
or via email@example.com. The web site for the exhibit is
<www.stroom.nl>. Some illustrations of the exhibit are shown.
The text is in Dutch, but there is an English version button on
the first page of the InfoArcadia sector of the site. The museum
address is: Stroom hcbk, Spui 193-195, 2511 BN Den Haag, The Netherlands.
Telephone: 31 70 3658985. Exhibit curators are Maarten de Reus
and Ronald van Tienhoven. THE COMPLETE LIST OF INFORMATION DESIGNER-ARTISTS
REPRESENTED IN THE INFOARCADIA INCLUDES: Bernard Cella (Austria)
, Matt Mullican (USA), Stephen McSweeney (Ireland), Thomas Moore
(Ireland), Paul Slovic (USA), Martin Dodge (UK), Ad Reinhardt
(USA), Armand Schulthess (Switzerland), Robert E. Horn (USA),
Sensorium (Japan). The Netherlands information designer-artists
include Jorinde Seijdel, Tjebbe van Tijen , Yuri Engelhardt, Origin
Medialab , Bert Mulder , Schie 2.0, and Douwe Draaisma, Paul Mijksenaar,
Piet Westendorp, and Jouke Kleerebezem.)
For more background on each designer/artist see | InfoArcadia Backgrounder