Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Observations on Art 1.30

Two art posts in a row and it's not even Armory time! This may be something totally new. It has nothing to do with a lack of interesting things on my mind, or interesting things pissing me off, just my trying to finally get that balance between art and politics I've been after in both my blog and my mind. I'm not even going to bring up sports today.

I saw this column by Michael Reid in Art Market Monitor and I wanted to share part of it. Reid, who at one time worked for Christie's, is an Australian art collector and dealer. He is writing about the idea that we are all photographers now and by we he means everybody on the planet. It seems an obvious idea but it isn't something I've ever seen thought out before and it's amazing to think that within five years the entire human race will have the ability to take photos or video. What that means to art, not to mention politics and just human existence, is a thought that boggles the mind.

Below are the paragraphs that really had me thinking. In the rest of the column Reid goes into a more collector related slant but as he is a dealer/collector that's to be expected. This should be more than enough to get you thinking but it's worth reading the thing and you can do that here.

"The world of technology and imagery has changed almost every aspect of our lives. Every child born in the world today is a potential photographer. Irrespective of geography or wealth, it is projected that within five years all will have access to a communication device that takes photographs and films. And when I say “all of us” I mean the nearly 7.4 billion projected “all of us” – from the first of the First World, to the new telecommunications boom market of sub-Saharan Africa.

That’s is the killer idea. We are now all photographers, almost every single person on the planet.

With billions of people, hourly taking images, there will be more photographs made in the next five years, than say in the last one hundred years. Digital photography’s chief selling points, the abilities to see the finished product instantly and to take countless pictures without incurring any additional charge, have turned out to be mixed blessings. With effort and cost excised from the equation, photos have become plentiful. And at the same time, as more and more pictures are taken on smartphones, “shared” on social media to all, then lost to the cacophony of the digital universe, meaningful images have become too scarce. However, those photographs that are very good, that are meaningful, those rare few amidst the hundreds and hundreds of thousands, will be greatly valued. Enormously valued for being what they are, much better than the mediocre rest."

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