I just finished copyediting my girl’s thesis on Florence Henri, a European photographer from the period between the first and second world wars. I absolutely love that the girl I spend my days with has such an abiding love for art. I think that in many cases the art world brushes up against the ideas that power society far before the public at large.
Artists seem to grasp the power of symbols and referents in far more explicit ways than the rest of us do, and possess a greater facility for constructing powerful mental metaphors for difficult concepts. At least the good ones do, and to be honest, copyediting was a welcome change from a day spent coding and recoding a database structure for a new application that I am developing at work. I mean, I love working with elegant data structures, but I will be damned if I ever really considered how much effort goes into making one before today. I am so grateful for Visio’s database modeling tools. Getting a sense of perspective on the tables and their respective relations would have been impossible without it.
That perspective on the overall structure is invaluable, because my peers will evaluate my work not only on whether the structure is functional, but also on how easy it is to understand. Like an artist, I will be judged by the power of my metaphors to clearly define abstract ideas.
Maybe I should change my job description to read computational metaphorist… or metastical digital translator, a la Andy Budd