as is my wont, especially on a sunday night once the kids have been packed off to bed, i’ve been known to crack open a beer and flick on the tube like i did last night. the jets were too far down to the patriots for a realistic comeback, so the Channel Safari™ began, but ended quickly when i found that pbs was running “art©" again as an independent lens offering. i’d stumbled upon it a couple of times before in an identical manner, so i knew what to expect, and settled in to watch it for i think a third time.
for those who are not familiar, "art©” is a feature length documentary that came out a couple years ago about the creative side of the advertising industry. constructed like any other talking head-driven vehicle, we hear stories, anecdotes, rants and pearls of wisdom from the most brilliant and successful advertising minds of the last 50 years. not dissimilarly to the earlier released “helvetica,” the condensed history lesson helps to contextualize much of the discussion, and perhaps it takes itself a little too seriously (although maybe not), but if they as icons and we as acolytes don’t, who will?
and inasmuch as narrative is spun from the creative point of view, it’s not particularly surprising that “art©” is not very kind to bureaucrats, but looks unflinchingly at the relationship between those functions and the creative spark and process. it reminds me that the challenges that we as designers, art directors and copy writers confront are to a degree universal — the walls to be pushed against, imposed from without and from within, have in many ways not really changed much over time. sure, there are macs now where there once were tissues, but the problems to be solved remain fundamentally quite constant. we’re all kinda trying to do the same thing; connect and convey in as meaningful a fashion as possible. that connection to the forebears makes me feel a small part of a larger whole, a sense of family of sorts. and the tales of trial, tribulation, joy and exaltation in the ongoing quest to create art in the service of both commerce and some greater good also remind me that the rewards can be small or large, simple or profound.
highly, highly, highly recommended.
(i assume one can get via netflix or amazon?)