I decided to make some changes to the PictureXS interface. The main reason for this changes is that I think there has been something not quite right with the Tiny style of the cover page. The difference between a texture composed of 425 little pictures that are almost like pixels and a sequence of 12 perfectly recognizable pictures reminds me of the difference between looking at the bricks versus the billboards in a cluster of distant old buildings. When I look at the bricks I can appreciate the beautiful and subtle randomness of color combined with a literal symmetry of shape; there is no explicit meaning to what I see, and whatever emotions the building walls can convey for me will be nothing more than a handful of abstract impressions. When I look at the billboards, something completely different happens, because they carry a deliberate message expressed in a visual language I have learned to understand, and I can even mix my interpretation of them in a sequence of thoughts that might reveal meaning not expressed by the separate images of each billboard alone. Filmmakers and Cartoonists have built their masterworks on top of this. Eisenstein called it Montage and Scott Mcloud called it Closure. I wanted to look at PictureXS as a sequence of windows to multiple stories that might be or become related, along with looking at it as an ocean of words and minipictures. When we see the forest we can’t see the leaves of the trees. In an opposite way, we can only experience slices of time, using memory to keep track of our paths through it. Will we be able to recognize our stories if we could look at the forest of time from a distance? Perhaps not, perhaps a lot of the meaning will be lost the same way the pictures that become pixels can’t talk to each other like they do when we turn the pages of an old photo album.
The difference between observation and reading is perhaps the difference between nature and media.