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Young Steve Jobs

“I want to put a ding in the universe.” A ‘ding in the universe’ isn’t exactly a quantifiable occurrence, however, if it is a measure of one’s impact upon life as it exists on Planet Earth, then Steve Jobs, the man who uttered those very words, has done precisely that during his brief 56 years roaming the mortal coil.

There is an entire generation of human beings who are growing up with the droll notion that they couldn’t possibly live without their smart devices. There is a slightly older generation who witnessed the birth of these devices with wonder and who were rocketed back to that nostalgic giddiness they once felt while tearing into a crisply wrapped NES console on their 10th birthday.

It’s all because of Steve Jobs.

Some might have the inclination to consider Mr. Jobs a modern incarnation of Santa Claus, bringing shiny presents that do astonishing things to all the good little boys and girls. He, however, more closely related himself to the insane genius crowd, and who could dispute his notion? “That’s the moment that an artist really decides who he or she is. If they keep on risking failure, they’re still artists. Dylan and Picasso were always risking failure. This Apple thing is that way for me,” said Jobs in a November 9th, 1998 interview for CNNMoney/Fortune.

Steve Jobs was an artist. When creating his electronic legacies, everything from the iMac to the iPad, he didn’t stop at the device’s performance, he delved into every aspect, almost always finding that point where form melded with function. “That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works,” he said in a New York Times 2003 interview.

It’s no wonder then that ‘everything Mac’ has become the default tech choice for artists of every genre. Photographers, painters, film makers and designers appreciate the simplicity, aesthetics and usability of these machines. Some have even gone so far as to create works through Mac products. Artist Lucas Samaras’ IMOVIES, from a 2006 exhibition, is comprised of a short film entitled Ecdysiast – made by Samaras on the iMovie program – and shown simultaneously with 24 videos of viewers as they watched and responded to the piece. These reaction videos were also recorded and displayed on iMac computers.

Lucas Samaras, iMovie installation, Ecdysiast + Viewers, 2006, at PaceWildenstein

Jasper Johns in Lucas Samaras’ iMovie installation, Ecdysiast + Viewers, 2006, at PaceWildenstein

“Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service,” said Jobs in Fortune Magazine. Each of Steve Jobs’ creations has allowed its users to express themselves through videos, texts, chats and simple use, generating layers of interaction not conceived of just a decade ago.

Steve, in your own words, you were and will always be, “Click. Boom. Amazing!”