Ryan Bahan, I’m not sure I follow this abstracted idea vs literal truth dichotomy.
joey convertino

I like the way your question floats more questions. I’m an ignoramus about software and its design, but I have often wondered about the (alleged) difference(s) between art and design. I only have a rough-hewn explanation which is a personal one, and one which probably will not work for many others. For me, it’s design if creativity is involved but one is working in received forms or methods of expression. Like “recombinant creativity.” But once a “designer” (or anyone else) starts to create and elaborate a (seemingly) unique visual language, then it’s art. There are tons of people on Instagram posting Basquiat knock-offs. To my mind, they are more designers than they are artists. They were given a language to use and they are using it. I realize this is not taxonomically “serious” or useful in the way that a clearly delineated classification system is. But it’s how I think about design versus art. You can have people working in traditional design fields (for example, furniture) who are total artists. And how do you tell if someone is truly an artist and not a designer if you’ve only seen one thing they have produced? Sometimes you cannot. Other times, if it’s a masterpiece, you can. Because the new vocabulary of art is present in the masterpiece (example: Picasso with “Les Demoiselles”) and the future is inscribed there. I realize this explanation sort of gives the lie to the idea of influence(s), which are ubiquitous and often subliminal. Oh, never mind. Ignore everything I wrote here. It’s impossible to define art. Everything is design. But art is something that is believed. Art is faith. All I really did here is equate art with originality. So I guess that’s my idea of art versus design, my (indefensible) faith. And sometimes being unoriginal is being original (ironic art, etc.) Oh yeah, I forgot. And if it’s art, as opposed to design, you might catch fire around it. That part’s important too. Art should make you more flammable. Anyway, I have jumped someone else’s train by responding to a comment directed at another. And I have no idea if I’m even in the same ballpark as your ongoing discussion. Maybe I’m in a ballpark in the next city over. Sorry, couldn’t resist.