We live in confusing times.

Books do not look like books. They sometimes resemble computer chips. This makes for a slight misalignment among some readers who refuse to pick up a computer chip to try to turn the pages

In the field of art a semipanic spreads. Artists, like many another in other fields, fear that the machine is here to mash their toes, chop their fingers, or put out their eyes.

The computer lurks with intention to loom. Men run down the middle of the streets crying, “The dam has broke!” forgetting they live in a town with no water and no dam.

Have you or have you not heard it said that the day is fast coming when the artists will be replaced by a robot. We will all retire from the field and leave the computer as mindless Michelangelo inside the church painting the far wall and the upper ceiling. When God reaches down his Great Hand it will not touch Adam, it will touch Apple or Commodore or the Xerox Mark 10.

It’s enough to make a chap turn in his oils and burn his canvases.

And yet. And yet…

Behold the work of David Em

No computer, no robot, he. A man of flesh and wildly imaginative blood. But what’s that he holds in his hand? Is it a brush, a tube of color, a jar of ink? It is not. It is, God help us all, the dread machine, the awful electric device that will fry and bury all art and artists. Yet, further behold. David Em is neither fried nor buried. HE is much alive, alive, O. And the landscapes of his imagination juice out his fingertips, through his pet Ben Franklin lightning bolt device, and flash as images not unlike those of childhood when someone struck your brow with a horseshoe or baseball bat. From these painful kaleidoscopic explosions Mr. Em has culled forth some bright new shapes and forms, told them to pull up their socks and behave, and delivered forth into our hands and eyes, a New Art Form. He has not, of course, done this alone. But he is preeminent in a field that is as swiftly flowing and changing as a storm stabbing its way across country walking on stilts of electric fire.

Ready or not, here he comes.

Watch his computerized, electric dust.

Ray Bradbury

March, 1984