Thinking lately about workspaces, about how working with the computer affords the sketchbook greater authority, because tiny scribbles can be scanned and blown up to gigantic proportions, mistakes can be erased, materials of all shapes and kinds and sizes can be formed into one thing–one computer file…and how, there is no original, only a digital collage.
“At the center of the office was an enviable Captain Kirk-like raised computer station: a pretty serious screen, two scanners, a pad on which to draw straight onto the computer, a side area for sketching, bottles of inks, a can of writing implements, shelves of cds, a stereo console, and various unidentifiable miscellany…
“Beside this setup was a very cool light table, on which rested a drawing-in-progress. Across from that, against the window, was an old-fashioned drafting table. If memory serves, there was a scratched-up desk across from that. There must have been half a dozen desks thoughout the office. How could one person, I wondered, need so many surfaces? Where is the army of Art Spiegelmans?
“We talked about the originals of his drawings. I wanted to use the excuse of this short essay to see them. Art explained that given the way he works, moving freely between paper and the computer, pen, pencil, and ink, no such things exist. There are sketches. And there are drawings done directly on the computer. And there are more fleshed-out drawings. And there are altered, cobbled-together images on the computer. But if one’s dream were to hang In the Shadow of No Towers, from beginning to end, one would be disappointed.”