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Appstrax – ‘Is It Live Or, Is It Memorex?’ – By Rudy Vogel

We’re delighted to publish Rudy Vogel aka The Renaissance Man’s latest article to his wonderful Column with us, Appstrax. We are huge fans of Rudy’s iPhone art and delighted that he has achieved additional coverage with Griffin Technology by creating a series of iPhone cases, you can read more about that here. In this latest piece Rudy encourages us all to aim higher and he does it in his very own eloquent way, don’t miss this… over to you Rudy (foreword by Joanne Carter).



“I awoke just now thinking about the column that I had to write for you and Joanne, our own “Whisperer of The App,” and I was somewhat befuddled. No it wasn’t from the sleepy-sand lying on the precipice of my eyeballs or, from knocking into the wall on my way to my laptop having just arisen. It was from that thought that gripped me in my sleep: what do I write about? I already had one draft in hand and being the writer that I am as other writers are want to do, we tear up various drafts, throw them away, and on the way to the trash bin, the proverbial lit light-bulb pops on and provides the brightness in that momentary darkness of thought; when ideas are still asleep in the crevices of ones mind and, suddenly awaken. That incandescent flicker of idea that revealed itself to me is: I am going to write about realness (is there even such a word? Wells, I don’t care if it even is, I just made it up to make a point).

The title of this piece is taken from one of the most famous ad campaigns ever manufactured for a manufacturer of audiotape. For those of you out there I may be dating myself but do you remember those ultrathin (like some runway models – I hope I haven’t just now offended anyone and, if I have my apologies) brown strips of metallic media wound into these smallish, clear square shards of plastic that you inserted into an electronic housing to play music? Yes, there actually was once such a thing, a Memorex tape that housed music magnetically. And we listened to it, rapaciously, before we all became Pods of the ‘I’. The premise of this ad campaign was that Memorex tape was so very good, that once musical reverberations were housed on it and, once played you supposedly could not discern whether the music was live or, from a recording. In other words, it sang on the matter of authenticity, reality.

Similar notions are conjured in the art world as well. “Is that artwork real or is it fake?” “Is it a copy or, was it actually fabricated from the creator’s own mind?” Criticisms that have hounded many an artist throughout the eternity of existence. Well, this concept my dear readers, is not necessarily the premise of this piece. What I am more concerned about exploring for a moment is: are you authentic to yourself when creating your art? Are you pursuing your own imprimatur or, shadowing someone else’s? Do you ‘Harlem Shake’ to the beat of your own Synclavier or, do you rip the disc from someone else’s hip-hop?

I believe we as an iPhonic creative community, are at a threshold. The prior epoch of ‘snapping, apping & zapping’ your art is rapidly coming to a close. New and, some recently existing apps such as iColorama, Glaze, Procreate, Decim8, Tangled, Popsicolor and many others are allowing iPhoneographers, or mobile artists, to open new chapters in the creation of their art. They are allowing iArtists to actually take some risks, try something new, to actually fail in the creation of their own Rembrandt. Fail you say? No way. Not me. Each and every filtered or, mashed Instagram I take is an Ansel!!! Hogwash, I say. Failure is good! Experimentation is enlightening. Scrapping your knee along the way to learning how to ride your bicycle the first few times is the process that ultimately turned you into a cyclist – it propelled you into parts unknown. It got you from here to there and back again, perhaps even through a circuitous route indeed. But it got you from point A to point B. And, that journey is what the travels are all about. That process of learning, of cutting your teeth, of tearing an app apart and realizing that through its taps and swipes you can actually, perhaps innately, reach into yourself and create something grand. Something that is you, not fetched from an image taken from the street or, a subway or, an apple but, creating something by accident, something unplanned. A Memorex moment. A recording from your own persona, becoming a piece of art that in actuality morphs from the you that is ‘Live’. The reality of you, the realness of your art, your own you! These little pieces of code transmuted onto that little magical device in your hand allow you to discover the symphonies that lie within the corridors of your mind. Forget the beat on the street for a while and sample the syncobeats within your heart, your mind, your internal ether. That output then becomes the reality of sound. That creation is a single beat in time that allows your abstraction of you to become someone else’s reality, experiencing it as if s/he were you. Drawing the lightness of being out of the shadow of your hesitancy. That is my challenge to you, dear reader. Once again I ask you to turn your world upside down, shatter it through the inner sound waves that pulse from your heart. If you can capture that moment, harness that syncobeat, you will transform the music that lies on the tape – that Memorex moment – into your own artistic reality. And, that my friend is truly something special! :D”



‘The Shadow Doesn’t Know’ – ©Rudy Vogel

Rudy has traveled the world on business and has thereby inculcated the exotic tastes, colors, and aromas of foreign lands from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe and the Caribbean into his work. Having grown and traveled with his father who was in the fashion business, Rudy learned some of his craft through osmosis and instinctually portrays some hints of textile, fabrics, lines and curves into his art. Rudy has had several private and public showings and his pieces have already worked their way into private collections. His work has been shown at various exhibitions and galleries around the world, including: The Annual Munson Massachusetts Spring Art Show; GaleriaZero, Barcelona, Spain & in Chelsea, London; The Forbes Galleries & The SOHO Gallery for Digital Art, New York, NY; The Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art and, The Giorgi Gallery, in California; and, The Lunch Box Gallery, Miami Beach. Much of his recent work can be viewed at ‘the premiere iPhonegraphic Art Collective in the world’, Pixels At An Exhibition, with the url:


  • Cat Milton

    Brilliant! As an iPhone Photography Teacher, I watch my students mimic what I teach. I watch and wait for each to go on to develop their own style, their own look, their own perspective. Some take longer than others but more often than not they get there *fingers crossed*
    Sharing your eloquent article I can only hope will inspire them. Thank you!

  • Robert Lancaster

    Rudy your words amaze me as much your incredible art does!
    You put these thoughts into words perfectly.
    My Memorex moment has yet to fully manifest itself … but I am keeping on going!