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.

3 Replies to “Technology enables art – technology doesn’t kill art”

  1. Nice post, Stormy, and true, I think.
    I’m glad I came across this blog of yours. Will check it out more …
    In the same way, technology (specifically, inexpensive mobile phones and mobile access plans) has, and is, changing and improving lives the world over, including those of the less well off, including here in India – in the last few years, there has been a *huge* jump here in the number of people who have mobile phones and use them for their businesses or work … and so, of course, is open source software changing things.
    Vasudev Ram

  2. Thanks, Vasudev. I think it’s fascinating how much more the developing world manages to get out of their mobile phones than we do in the US. I think there’s lots of opportunity for us to learn from that.
    There’s lots of open source work in the mobile space right now that promises to be really interesting …

  3. > There’s lots of open source work in the mobile space right now that promises to be really interesting …
    If possible, please mention (here on your blog) links and/or your thoughts about some of that work – I’d be interested to know about it and possibly do something in one of those projects …

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