Monday, October 27, 2008

against the "but I'm not a Luddite"(s) part 1

Yes, some are worried about the future: book sales are down, fewer people are reading, and what they are reading is less and less literature or work of “high quality.”
Yes. And?
The issue here is one of perspective. Change is coming and the winds of change carry along the vast specter of fear. And they are afraid.
But that is not the big picture. I will not claim divine prophecy here. I cannot know the truth of what is to come. But just think of what the next generation will be expected to know: they will blog and twitter (self-awareness and collective therapy even in its most banal and superficial), they will all be amateur photogs (and fill the internets with their snapshots (not all of them will be bad forever, its not like we have forgotten aesthetics, they are only becoming more valuable)), they will be expected to know how to make (and star in) video clips, how to make, mix, & mash music files, how to photoshop, paint the electronic environs that they surround themselves with, and the list goes on.
Our children will be readers, writers, filmmakers, photographers, musicians, producers, painters, and multimedia artists of all stripes. And that is just the entry level. Competency is what will be expected of everyone. Just think of the possibilities for the exceptional, the true artists and entrepreneurs among them. Yes, the mass of the public will be reading less, but that does not mean they will be idle. And the best of us still are open to the limitless possibilities that have always been there. A multimedia world calls for a multimedia artist. If print cannot keep up, so be it. There will always be art to satisfy the crying out of the soul. Times are changing. But nothing ever really changes.

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