The Luminary and the
Geek girl talks with
Luminary: Luddite, can you touch
Luddite: No. When I went to school
typing was for girls only.
how different Luddite's world may be if he had been allowed in that
class with all the girls.
Luminary: Do you have a computer at
Luddite: We have three PC's in our
house and I have just learned how to locate the button that switches
Luminary asks herself,
'How can a man so geometrically opposed to the incessant and irritating
hum of computers - the Ned Lud of the millennium - live with three!? Is
he holding computers captive, committing some kind of
obscene computer cruelty behind closed doors or is the PC his
idea of modern sculpture, ornamental - there to impress the quests?
Luminary: You must have children.
Luddite: Yes I have three children.
The two girls use them mainly for games and homework. My son uses his
incessantly. He makes websites and has some programming skills. He is
also extremely fast at the touch typing. If I am a computer luddite he
is the opposite - this facilities the appropriate inter-generational
Luminary imagines the
Luddite household being something like The Simpson's.
Luddite: A computer is a television
full of books. Access to those books is complicated and requires
patience and mathematics.
Luminary: Do you have a fax machine?
Luddite: Yes, and a scanner.
Luminary: Then you would have
Luminary wonders what
the Luddite fridge might look like.
Luminary: Do you have a web-site?
Luddite: Somewhere out
there. My son put one together but while we were putting it up the
computer crashed and we lost the password. I spent twenty minutes on
hold to Network Solutions in the states to try and get a new
password...they're impossible to get a hold of.
Luminary: So registering a
Luddite.com company and selling your work over the net is not on your
Luddite: I exhibit and sell my
artwork at Galleries.
Luminary: But there must be a
massive Luddite following in other parts of the world.
Luddite: They can get my work
through other means. I'm comfortable with that - it's relatively
stress-free, I don't think I'd like to run a company. I exhibit in
London and Milan – and am very popular in Italy - there's an exhibition
in Milan sometime in June/July.
Luminary: Is there any chance that
Luddite might come out with the next design for a computer - could you
not submit some of your hand drawn designs to the mastermind behind the
I-Mac - Mr. Steve Jobs himself, and create the next line of computers
Luddite: It would be fun to come up
with regional designs - one with rusty corrugated iron and bricks...
Outback-Australian design...You could create the leaning tower...
Luddite: Computers are an excellent
repository for the masses of useless information. Some of the artwork
and music produced with the aid of a computer is technically dazzling
but often lacks the roughness or clumsiness that lends a human touch to
organically produced materiel.
Luminary: Without that organic
'human touch' there would be no Luddite, the world wouldn't have seen
your helium-filled houses bouncing around the Olympic Stadium at the
closing ceremonies. How many of those inflatable characters were there?
Luddite: Twelve. We had an eighty
foot kangaroo too and a massive fly that was supposed to attack Jimmy
Barnes, but it was a little too dangerous to bring some of them out in
the windy conditions.
Luminary: That's a pity. So
computers don't play a part in the art of the Luddite?
Luddite: My wife uses the computer
to do the book-keeping. Computer generated art quickly acquires a
predictability that comes from everyone using the same software
Luminary: Like signing a
cheque in Helvetica or Times New Roman. The banks' wouldn't buy it.
Luddite: One of the predicted
advantages of computers is that they would facilitate greater freedom
of choice and affiliation and this is occurring to some extent,
particularly in countries with repressive governments. Theoretically if
everyone on earth had access to a computer terminal and could make
their opinions known instantly you would have the ultimate democracy,
but that is yet to happen, and most people would probably rather play
games or look at pornography than exercise any political responsibility.
Computers have failed to
produce a happier more peaceful world...
Luminary: But Mr. Luddite...my
computer is everything to me - Post-office, radio, secretary, movie
theatre, teacher, lover...he speaks numerous languages...How likely am
I to find a guy that can bring me this many endless hours of
intellectually stimulating pleasure?
Luddite: ...computer's have created
more work and stress and competition for people rather than the utopian
leisure world that technological sophistication was supposed to deliver.
Luminary: I'm waiting for my
computer to propose.
Luddite: Until computers acquire the
magical powers and the ability to alter the laws of physics possessed
by the creator of the universe I will remain less than impressed with
Luminary: I'm looking forward to the
future when I can computerise my entire house and hang art of the