Against Interpretation

Against Interpretation is an essay by writer and literary critic Susan Sontag, where she takes a stand against the mimetic theory of art, and one which has inspired so much of my own worldview.

"In a culture whose already classical dilemma is the hypertrophy of the intellect at the expense of energy and sensual capability, interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art.

Even more. It is the revenge of the intellect upon the world. To interpret is to impoverish, to deplete the world—in order to set up a shadow world of “meanings.” It is to turn the world into this world. (“This world”! As if there were any other.) The world, our world, is depleted, impoverished enough. Away with all duplicates of it, until we again experience more immediately what we have."


The piece here contains the entire text of the essay. Except — you can't really read anything.

Against Interpretation

Alphabet Soup

Inspired by Andy Warhol's Campbell's Campbell Soup Can prints, this piece takes the soup out of the can. Pour some alphabet soup on the screen with the keyboard, hit space to create new words, and then play around with them with the mouse.

Against Interpretation

Interactive Division

Interactive play on the 1979 Joy Division album titled Unknown Pleasures. The album features a bunch of waves on the cover, but this version lets you generate your own waves with voice input from your microphone.

joy division