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Digital Media influence on Art

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David Rowan
Digital Media influence on Art
on Sep 18, 2006 at 5:09:56 am

I recently got a message from a YouTube user responding to a video I have posted asking about my feelings on how technology is influencing art. Its from some kid writing a college paper. So I wrote a nice long essay. But then I figured "Hey, maybe this guy is fishing for a bunch of letters he can lift stuff from" That us, he just wanted us to do his homework for him.

Since I went through the trouble to write it I figure I'll post it here, then refer him to this site, at least he'll see that its "Already Published" and he shouldn't just plagerize it without attribution. Richard, if your reading this I hope you will forgive me for my baseless, unjustified, and wholley plausable fears, please do not take offense.

Cop: "There's a word for people who think everyone is out to get them." Detective "Yeah, PERCEPTIVE". --Film:The Curse of the Jade Scorpion

In any case, here is the essay

Question Excerpt: "

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Re: Digital Media influence on Art
on Sep 18, 2006 at 7:04:12 am

Valid points fer sure. I do find point of view interesting.
I find the question itself very interesting. To me, modern art is abstract art and that's not being phased out in the least. Neither is 'conventional' art which is what I think he meant. Flavors don't have to cancel each other out. I have found a wide variaty of spices in cooking, art and life that greatly compliment each other. A pencil and a mouse do that well, imo.

You mentioned craftsmanship falling by the waistside in regards to todays wide distrubution of home creations. I think all thats happening here are more people are sharing their cuts. Doesn't mean they are a craftsman or an artist. Just means they have a free NLE at home. To me, this increases our worth because more people are seeing poorly done stuff. They know more now than ever what crap is and if they know nothing else, they know what they don't want when seeking an artist.

I have seen lots of bad story telling covered with bells n whistles. This is not a reflection on the craft.. just the artists. Without new wizbang button pushin fools flyin stuff around all the time, there would be no old school kickass story tellers... just a big pool of plain vanilla cutters.

I think whats happened is a whole new hybrid kind of editor. A best of both worlds kind of person forced to hone a side of the craft otherwise fled from in the name of job security. Man, that's awesome no matter how ya look at it. Thats like a runnin back that can throw, man and it really wouldn't be that way if not for today's digital playground. Didn't use to be. Use to be an editor looked to the back of the room as much as he looked forward, waitin for somone to rattle off a timecode or some direction. Now, by in large, it's more of a gimme a flavor and hold on for the ride kinda thang. real time effects, quick renders and multiple undos paved that way, allowing us to be more artist and less media processor.

as for where it's heading... well, a producer will simply tell the computer to do some bad ideas and via voice activation, it'll do it without a second opinion or even "are you sure?" As a result, editors will be hired as producers and since they know how to edit, voice activation will be turned off until surfin youtube.

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Pixel Monkey
Re: Digital Media influence on Art
on Sep 18, 2006 at 5:33:20 pm

It's a never-ending argument in every trade - not just media. I'm sure that professional electricians have the same things to say about do-it-yourselfers equipped with Home Depot "Easy as 1-2-3" books. I think it's excellent that a demographic exists for guys recording themselves flatulating. It doesn't bother me because it's not a replacent, merely an addition. Sure it lowers the artistic gene pool. The good thing is the number of artists now able to contribute has grown as well. The demographics for great indie films, major motion pictures and arthouse work will never see a decline.

I've gone a bit hippy with my editing in the last few years - nearly stark of all effects. It started in 2001 when a tour filled with teens came through the editing rooms. There was a kid - brilliant with computers I might add - who said he wanted to be an editor when he grew up. His questions though were all about effects, effects and more effects. In the months following, I was more alert to the times producers asked for effect-driven material. Fed up, I began a campaign to swap effects for content, and have been 80% successful. The other 20% have been projects that really do beg for effects - but as an enhancement of the message, not a replacement.

Here's the analogy I used on the producers: consider effects to be like accessories to your wardrobe. Nobody would notice you had a Rolex on if you walked out of your house without pants. You need a base from which to start accessorizing.

Everything is a response to something else. If this truely gets under your skin, fight it by creating the best-possible opposite. And most importantly, turn off the damn video games and read a book!

`(=)`/...Pixel Monkey

A picture says 1000 words. Editors give them meaning.

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Charlie King
Re: Digital Media influence on Art
on Sep 21, 2006 at 4:27:02 pm

[Pixel Monkey] "projects that really do beg for effects - but as an enhancement of the message, not a replacement"

My philosophy of effects has always been: Effects should be transparent just as edits. If you have no content drive the message with effects. If you have content, make the effects draw attention to that content, not the effect. If the effect does not enhance the content, but becomes the content by overpowering the real content, then you should refrain from using the effect.

Having been around the industry for over 44 years, I have seen it grow. Some growth has been good some I'm still not too sure of. Take the skills of a cameraperson (must be politically correct here). Once worked with a guy that could take a camera on wheels and hold focus running toward the subject, using a 10 inch lens. We used every spare moment we had practicing. Camera operators rely so much on zoom lenses now they could never do that and ever see a camera operator practicing when not in a production? We trucked and dollyed cameras instead of zooming. We could still ocassionally pan when needed. Give a young person a computer today and they immediately become a digital artist, not a lot of work or training involved.

I am not saying none of them will become a qualified video or audio artist or producer or whatever name you wish to bestow on them. I am just saying the pool is becoming very dilluted and in some cases very contaminated.

Did I get off course here? Does anything I say even make sense anymore? I really don't know, and usually try not to get off on a tirade so I don't offend someone.

I still love this business and am not looking to the day when I will have to go into forced retirement because of no longer being able to contribute.


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