You’d be forgiven for thinking that the designs of William Morris – his trellises and willows and honeysuckles – are a little out-of-date and irrelevant. Popular designs like Strawberry Thief adorn cushions and mugs, but do they really fit the modern interior? Surprisingly, not only have these botanical themes made a massive comeback, but Morris himself has been enjoying a new wave of popularity – as an environmental prophet and anarchist.
Once upon a time, questions about the use-value of art were the height of philistinism. “All art is quite useless,” wrote the aesthete Oscar Wilde, presaging the attitudes of modernists to come. Explaining this statement in a letter to a perplexed fan, Wilde opined that art “is not meant to instruct, or to influence action in any way.” But if you ask Alain de Botton, founder of “cultural enterprise,” The School of Life, art—or literature specifically—does indeed have a practical purpose. Four to be precise.
Reincarnations of digitalsouls.com include its first online appearance as a collection of simple html pages (1997-2000). In 2001, the site saw a new reincarnation as a PHP reactor (2001-3). This virtual reincarnation was followed by a very successful life as a PHP Nuke. During its life as a PHP nuke, digitalsouls.com evolved and grew through multiple versions of that publishing platform (2004-2013). Today, after a rather brief incarnation as a Joomla site (2013-14), digitalsouls.com emerges once more in its latest virtual reincarnation, this time as a WordPress site.