Technology and Art, Comfortable Bedfellows

typewriter chris wessells royal el dorado street photography OG Writing

My wife teases me often about my websites. To her frustration, I collect domain names. Right now I don’t own many. I let quite a few lapse. I get ideas early in the morning when she is sleeping.  By the time she wakes I have purchased a domain name, fired up a couple servers, and the github repo has more than a dozen commits. I am really excited at 4 am. After a day at work, evening dinner, maybe strumming a few cords on the guitar, I have forgotten all about the brilliant idea from earlier that day.

While I code a little, my background is in IT/Network Administration/System Administration. My world perspective consists of finding cool software, configuring it, and letting someone else fill it with content. Every now and again the content filler person will have a tough question, “I want to do X, but I don’t know how?” So I dig in, figure it out, then Volia! I am a hero! I admit, it feels great being a hero. When I get an idea I can quickly get something setup, but then I stall when it comes to adding content.

Technologists solve problems. Most often I solve other people’s problems. I have problems, like buying domain names at 4 am, but my problems are hard. Building redundant data centers, hardened, and highly available are easy. Stopping myself from getting at 4 am because I know everyone wants to see the photos I take mated with an ingenious poem of my own creation. I can’t stop by brain from thinking weird shit. By the way, notice the andn in the middle of the domain, yeah I fucked that one up event if it were a good idea I am stuck with a typoed domain.

The problem of the technologist is not how to create but what to create. Being so close to so many different solutions, one becomes almost numb to the possibilities. Art is similar to technology in that many ways exist to accomplish the outcome. More so there are many different outcomes that will meet the need. A person needs a website. A technologist can use node.js, Ruby on Rails, Django, static pages, hosted solutions, and on and on. A person needs to create something beautiful. An artist can sculpt, paint, watercolor, pencil drawing, pen and ink, chalk, pastel, photograph, digital, and on and on.

My technology career is reaching it’s second decade. Over a few years I have preferences. I have things I learned which make my life easier.  That which I learned I used more.  I can see how in art the same would apply. Over time artists learn what feels good to them and what looks good to their eye. It seems so clear to me know at 4 am writing this. This time I believe I am truly onto something. It may be something many others already know. This may be rudimentary information for first year art students. That’s ok. What’s important is that I remember that experience will reveal to me that which I like, and I just need to do more of what I like. If I remember this in a week, I’ll write  some more about creating beautiful things. Until then, I’ll try to sleep more.