Luddite Artists

I heard an NPR podcast about a bunch of artists getting their lil' panties in a bunch because Polaroid, which has already stopped making instant cameras, will now stop making the film as well. It was really sad listening to these Luddites blather how "the young artists will never get to experience this..." and other similar comments. Fact of the matter is that when technology gets better, the old technology becomes obsolete. I understand that is very enticing for the artsy-fartsy types, but come on now! Reality check, please!

I tell you what, as a writer, I could give two [insert plural form of expletive here] about old press techniques. Although sort of interesting in a dorky way, I'm NEVER going to long for the days of papyrus or the Gutenberg press. Hell, I'm glad that we don't have to deal with those mimeograph machines any more. Hell, I won't purchase a PHONE if it doesn't have a typing pad.

I've always been fascinated with the Diffusion of Innovations and why artists are ALWAYS on the stubborn, "I-don't-need-no-stinkin'-technology" part of the curve. Grow up. Make you're art better, cause after all, doesn't art imitate life? Being the efficiency freak that I am, it always makes me wonder why people make their best effort to keep something the way it is, especially if it slows down any process, creative or otherwise.

You can listen to the NPR Podcast at:


Brian G said...

Sorry about adding a comment on this post so late in the game, but I was just looking over your old blogs that I had missed and of course my eye went straight to the one with artists in the title. Then, after reading it, I had to defend the artists who lament the passing of Poloroid film...for I am one of them.

When I was an undergraduate art student, I made a series of painting based on Poloroid photographs. I took a bunch of Poloroids at the local mall and really enjoyed the quality (or lack of quality) that the camera and film produced. You can't get the kind of unplanned, serendipitous visions with digital cameras that you can with Poloroid. Plus there is a beautiful art process called Poloroid transfers that will now be lost.

Your analogy of Poloroid/digital cameras with printing press/computer is not accurate because the information gained by reading something produced on a printing press or a computer is essentially the same. To take away a medium from an artist is more like telling a musician that he/she can no longer play his/her instrument and must now rely solely on a synthesizer. In the end, both the musician and the audience miss out on a much richer experience.

ESOTERICa said...

No. Art doesn't always imitate life, it creates it.