Artistic Q&A: Vannevar Bush on The Art of Urban Observation

As part my NaBloPoMo examination of art and blogging, I asked a few folks to consider some of the same questions I’m pondering. Today, I’m sharing the responses from local blogger Vannevar Bush.



I first met Vannevar via Facebook when I posted about my fear of cycling in an urban environment. That conversation led to many others around political and civic issues. Vannevar has a keen mind for local public affairs and the big picture. We agree on quite a bit, but when we don’t – that’s fine. I’ve not met Vannevar in real life (yet) but the huge overlap of our shared interests, political views and willingness to critique Pittsburgh because we love it have been significant common ties.  And I must give him props for using the hashtag #NextBurgh which is perfect!

Name: Vannevar Bush

Your Blog: AND

Where Can People Find You On Social Media: @VannevarB  FB: Vannevar Bush

Are you an artist? If so, please describe your art. Not an artist but rather a flaneur: one who travels the city in order to understand it; an observer of urbanity.

Are you more inclined to define blogging as an art form, a craft, both or something else entirely? Please explain. I would say: art form in that I blog to express myself, and I do it for myself. While I pursue it my own way, I also seek critique and try to learn from other practitioners. I would not say craft, because my blogging is really not about techniques and technology, it’s about the writing and telling.

Do you blog about the arts? Please explain. I don’t blog about the arts as a primary topic, but I do blog about the art I encounter as I ride around – which ended up in the creation of, with my friend S. We saw a need to map outdoor public art by neighborhoods and make it more findable, and we had the method and opportunity.

Whatever your relationship to the arts how has that informed your blogging? I think that literature informs my writing, and I think that I tend to rely on movies – which have somewhat replaced novels as our store of common narrative – to illuminate points.

Blogs are typically available to the public and open to engagement via comments, social media, etc. Would you consider this a form of public or community art?  I would say: it’s community art in that my bike blog has a bike-community audience with a diabetes subset, and my “me” blog has a Pittsburgh-community audience with a geek subset. So there’s definitely a community aspect to it, but the nature of Google and the web means it’s available to anybody in the public.

Is there an artistic pursuit you’ve always wanted to explore? I so admire artists, but I don’t have much of significance to say and so my impulse to do art is really not there – with the minor exception of PhotoShopping political satire. For instance:

Thank you Vannevar!




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