A friend of mine once joked that he often expects a pop-up widow to appear on his iMac desktop informing him that his desktop is cluttered and unaesthetic: Would you like to aestheticize your desktop? Aestheticize. Don’t Aestheticize. Cancel.

While working with iWeb (the program, I’m embarrassed to admit, that currently holds my web site) over the past year something has caught my attention that I’ve frequently mulled over. Apple has always marketed itself as a provider of creative ease— a manufacturer of tools devoted to the advancement of individual expression. With the current versions of Mac OS Apple has reached a pinnacle of marketing to the ego: iWeb provides a concrete example of this. Nearly every page of every template contains the word “Me” or “My.” A pronoun and a possessive adjective. Individuality and the ownership of that individuality. My photos. My favorite songs. My trip. Me.

But does the Mac, or any computer for that matter, truly foster more personal creativity among the masses or simply promise a potential audience? Is it the inspired act or the hope for attention that fuels the digital revolution?

I’ve been trying to formulate a theory about passive creativity in the digital ear ever since computers became a fixture of my daily life. That theory is, in part, powered by a Mac.

No comments: