The Brain is Wider than the Sky

Why Simple Solutions Don’t Work in a Complex World

Weidenfeld & Nicolson

In The Brain is Wider than the Sky Bryan Appleyard uses a combination of memoir, reportage and cultural analysis to examine a critical moment in our history.

Drawing on his experience as an acclaimed writer on science, new technology and the arts, he charts the tantalising choices we now face and the questions we should be asking ourselves. The book is a widely informed meditation on the fast-moving technological forces of the present and how they will shape our future and define the priorities of the new machine age. Read extracts


About the cover

I interviewed David Hockney for The Sunday Times in January.  Soon afterwardsI began receiving emailed drawings he had done on his iPad; pretty soon I had a large gallery of original Hockneys. They were beautiful, infinitely varied and very personal – Hockney would frequently draw the view from his bed at dawn or a road seen from the seat of his car. At some point I realised that the theme of great artist using high technology to produce such works lay close to the heart of this book. I asked Hockney if he would agree to do my cover. Some months later a cactus arrived in my email. The subject line read: “I drew this flowering cactus and thought of your book cover. What do you think?” I thought it was astonishing. He said the cactus looked like a brain, but I prefer to think that sometimes a cactus is just a cactus.

A video of Hockney talking to me about his iPad art is below.


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