Technology enables art – technology doesn’t kill art

Reading The Bookman’s Wake I stumbled across this passage where the main character is talking about a hand printing press:

Here he had practiced his voodoo, making wonderful things on quaint-looking equipment, just like this.  I felt a strange sense of loss knowing that someday we would attain technological perfection at the expense of individualism.

Just the opposite is true.  Technology enables more people to practice "their voodoo."  A hundred years ago, if I was interested in publishing I would have had to find a publisher, one willing to teach, travel to them, give up my life, apprentice to them, … just to learn one trade!  Now if I’m interested in publishing, I just google it on the web and in a few minutes I have a ton of information and a lot of free tools to try my hand at it.  Most of us who are interested in publishing and typesetting will probably remain mediocre – mostly because we aren’t interested enough in it to pursue it.  But a few will be great.  Same with photography.  Because of cheap digital cameras and photo editing software, we can all try our hand at photography.  Most of us will be mediocre, but many will be good and a few will be great.  Just look at Flickr.  In the days of film and manual photo developing, few could afford to dedicate enough money and time to photography to see if they like it.  Technology enables people to explore lots of art worlds, to try them out and for those that love it, it enables them, it doesn’t hold them back.  Technology opens the doors to more potential artists.