Art Every Wednesday (14)

How we experience art is constantly changing. With new technology comes mass production and access. Art evolved through pigments, oils, pastels, water colors, tempera, and photoshop. Story telling and the written word advanced with the innovation of cuneiform, to ink, papyrus, and the printing press. Music metamorphosed with instruments, from the lyre, to the harpsichord, piano, synthesizer, record, tape, CD, and iPod.
Technology changes the way we see art, and the greatest advancement in the mass production and availability of art found its feet in the last 10 years, the world wide web. Let’s take a look at how the internet is changing the accessibility and medium of all art-forms.
Although Photography is relatively new art-form, the digital age transformed it more than possibly any form (outside of music). Check out this TED talk by Frans Lanting, who combines photography, music, and the oral tradition to tell the history of the world.
Billy Collins, former United States Poet Laureate, produced a series of videos combining his spoken poetry, with powerful images. They furnish his potent verses with a new layer of complex depth.
When Michelangelo sculpted David from cold, harsh stone, he probably never imagined that sculptures centuries later would make kinetic, moving sculptures from wood, powered by wind. Theo Jansen did just this, with the creation of his “beach beasts,” seen and described on numerous videos.
The art of building changes as readily as any professional field. In the following video Reed Kroloff discusses two dueling styles of architecture in culture today, both powered by recent technology evolution. The internet offers users a unique way to interact with, and watch how this technology works.
Most people know how the web transformed the music industry, from Napster to iTunes, most Americans under 30 downloaded a song or two in the last half-decade. Instead of focusing on what most of us know of or participate in, I thought we should take a look at the stranger side of the internet and music. An interactive massive multi-player online game, called second life allows people to create imaginary identities in vast complex worlds, called “islands.” A small group of players fashioned their characters after the hit rock group u2, and held numerous in-game concerts. Keep in mind normal people, not game creators, put these concerts on.
After the invention of the printing press oral transmission of stories lost steam. The fine art was limited, but the recorded and reprinted word was limitless. Epic poems filled pages, not ears, but it seems the internet may bring back the old art form. Today hundreds of thousands of bloggers post videos, sharing their hearts and stories, marking the reemergence of the oral tradition.
The beauty of art transforms with culture. With profound excitement, lets transform alongside.

About Patrick K. Miller

Currently I am living in Columbia serving at the University of Missouri with Veritas, The Crossing's campus ministry. In December 2010 I graduated from Mizzou with a degree in English Literature. My beautiful wife, Emily, works is an Interior Designer with a local firm. I like espresso, 30 Rock, and books. My favorite old dead guys are John Owen, Augustine and Francis Schaeffer. You should read something by them.
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