Overview Journeys inside the mind of the enigmatic co-founder of the Talking Heads in a compilation of drawings and diagrams that capture his most personal feelings, creativity, and mental landscape.
For over twenty-five years, David Byrne has focused his unique genius upon forms as diverse as disco, architectural photography, and PowerPoint. Now he presents what may be his most personal work to date, a collection of drawings and diagrams mapping the strange corners of his mental landscape. It's an eclectic blend of faux science, automatic writing, satire, and an attempt to find connections where none were thought to exist — a sort of self-therapy, allowing the hand to say what the voice cannot. Irrational logic, it's sometimes called. It's the application of logical scientific rigor and form to basically irrational premises. To proceed, carefully and deliberately, from nonsense, with a straight face, often arriving at a new kind of sense. The world keeps opening up, unfolding, and just when we expect it to be closed — to be a sealed, sensible box — it shows us something completely surprising.
Byrne's enigmatic, enchanting collection teaches us that there is absolutely no reason to discount anything, of any type, anywhere.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 7.5" Height: 9.25" Weight: 1.6 lbs.
Release Date Aug 25, 2006
ISBN 1932416579 ISBN13 9781932416572
Availability 0 units.
More About David Byrne
David Byrne is Reader in Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Durham.
Reviews - What do customers think about Arboretum?
Creative starting point.... Jan 9, 2007
What a great book for sparking ideas. Byrne Makes connections to intangible thoughts in a visual medium. It is also wonderful to catch a glimpse of the creative process of one of the greatest creative thinkers of our time.
Start Making Sense Nov 15, 2006
When TIME magazine put Byrne on its cover back in '86 and called him "Rock's renaissance man", some people shrugged it off and said "yeah, right". Well, that caption has more than withstood the test of time. I can't think of anyone who's been as prolific on so many artistic fronts.
Most recently, he's been quite prolific in his online journal, which itself is a mind boggling display of the incredible range of topics constantly churning through Mr. Byrne's gray haired head.
First and foremost, David Byrne's art (yes, even Talking Heads) is about design. So, as with his previous books, the first thing you notice about the book is its design. "Strange Ritual" was black with big gold letters; the idea was to make it feel and look like a Bible.
Then came "Your Action World", which was huge, and had rubber covers. Not sure what the deal was on that (although a great book in the annals of anti corporatism).
After that, he did a mini Bible called "The new Sins", which by and large, turned the teachings of the real Bible upside down (literally, the book itself could be read upside down or right side up, and in Spanish or English, depending on your mood or bilingual proficiency).
Anyway, "Arboretum" has the look and feel of a library book on certain subjects, maybe philosophy or archaeology, or psychology, in short, an academic look and feel about it.
I started reading this book by just selecting pages at random. By approaching it this way, at first the various drawings have an automatic, stream of consciousness writing feel to them. There's a 4 foot pullout in the back of the book, however, which covers a bunch of topics, corresponding to the various diagrams on numbered pages of the book. If you read the book this way, then the tree diagrams begin to make a lot more sense.
On the latter note, it was Byrne who coined the term "Stop Making Sense". I always took that as "let go of reason, and let the spirit and subconscious take over". As it turns out, Byrne is a very methodical fellow. While he draws heavily from dreams and the subconscious, he prefers to stick to a fairly rigid structure in his concert tours. This aesthetic also emerges in the book, for the most part, and sort of contradicts the whole notion of "Stop Making Sense".
At any rate, Byrne is indeed a true renaissance artist by any definition, and it's always a thrill to see and hear what he's up to next. If you're a long time fan, this is definitely worth buying. If you're nostalgic for a Talking Heads reunion and consider that period his finest hour, you're not likely going to enjoy much of his post TH work or this book.