I was once asked in an interview for a mobile software infrastructure company why I thought Twitter was so successful in light of the limitations of the format. I was somewhat stumped. I answered some inanity like, lowest common denominator technology being ubiquitous and accessible, which have some small truth to it, but I am wondering today whether it has to do with people being desirous of limits in a limitless culture. I just looked at some very cool Vines this morning and thought, perhaps in light of the limitless potential in digital media, imposed limits force creativity. We crave limits.
I think that perhaps subconsciously I force limits on myself because of that active artistic call and response. An obvious limit like 140 characters, or 6 seconds of video, or 6 transitions in a lenticular, well they force you to say more with less. Lenticulars are forcing me to constrain what might be said. I am drawn to complexity and by distilling down my message, it is becoming concentrated.
Mark Twain famously responded to a telegram from his editor for a two page story this way:
NEED 2-PAGE SHORT STORY TWO DAYS.
NO CAN DO 2 PAGES TWO DAYS. CAN DO 30 PAGES 2 DAYS. NEED 30 DAYS TO DO 2 PAGES
That pretty much sums it up for me. Lenticulars are movies distilled into vines concentrated into extra-strength gestures. New and Improved, extra strength gestures.