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About Shake the Muse

Shake your phone/tablet to stir up a unique combination of art elements to inspire new works. Go with the random elements or make your own selections.

More than 40 billion approaches to art can be envisioned. If you juxtapose multiple approaches, the possibilities are truly mind boggling.

We hope Shake the Muse contributes to a growing recognition that the elements of art don’t belong to past artists or historical periods. Rather, each is a timeless, essential part of visual language, belonging to all. Late 19th and 20th century culture celebrated the exploration of visual language, but a misguided sense of ownership led to a process of elimination, in which one art element after another was assigned to an artist or group of artists. Soon enough, most aspects of visual language supposedly belonged to the past.

Imagine if the 20th century had celebrated the ongoing expansion of visual language rather than setting a series of expiration dates. What if the full scope of expression became the cultural ideal? Perhaps this mindset is finally taking hold. Judging by the diversity of contemporary art, last century's proprietary assumptions seem to be fading away. More and more, we recognize this generation's creative need to draw on all parts of visual language to fully express its complexity.

Those who are still attached to 20th century notions of innovation need not worry that free exploration of visual language will lead to derivative art. It's easy enough to see when an artist mimics a past master or period – trying to repeat all the same nuances of that artist or era. Originality is found in the countless subtle choices artists make while working within a set of parameters. And, with the full scope of visual language to play with, we can always find new parameters – just…


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All works of art shown are public domain or used by permission of the artists. All graphic designs are copyrighted by

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