I am not into art… or painting… or art history. But I am into technology, and history, and stuff that’s just cool and amazing. The documentary “Tim’s Vermeer” is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen the video at least 10 times, and I’m still amazed, and in awe that a random (albeit brilliant) computer tech-guy, figured out something that no one else had figured out in over 300 years.
Johannes Vermeer was a dutch painter, baptized October 31, 1632 — buried December 16, 1675, who painted pictures that were, apparently, more detailed in light and depth, far beyond anything anyone else had done before. And over hundreds of years, no one could figure out how he did it. Then Tim Jenison comes along. The computer tech-guy. Who is not a painter. And he paints an amazing replication of Vermeer’s piece, “The Music Lesson” in a way that no one else, even up to modern times, had been able to do.
I’m probably so enamored with this documentary, and what Tim did, because of who he is… he invented the Video Toaster – which is how and why I got so interested in technology in the first place. In the 1990/91, I discovered a full Video Toaster setup at the continuation high school near my high school. It was sitting unused, and with no one who cared to learned about it. This was a big, new piece of expensive technology that, in 1990, most people just didn’t get or care about. I was lucky enough to get to spend a few hours every day figuring it out on my own, reading the manuals, trying to learn how to use it… and I did. And it was pretty awesome. Back then, I didn’t know who Tim Jenison was. In fact, I didn’t know who he was until this documentary came out – and it kind of blew my mind. I’m pretty sure that’s why I have such an affinity for this story and what Tim did… and I hope people who don’t care anything about art, will watch this and be as amazed as I have been, about a long-lost technology, and how someone figured it out, and likely duplicated it.