Monday, January 19, 2009

Instant Art: The Cancer of the Digital Age

The absence of craftsmanship in America can be traced back to the industrial revolution. It has been proven that people are willing to buy poorly made products if they are less expensive. Consequently, skilled laborers were put out of business because companies using assembly lines could make similar products more efficiently. Since the mastery of certain labor had been reduced to elementary button-pushing, companies were able to pay workers less and pass the savings down to their consumers.

Hip hop was known for its strong, deep, and empathetic lyrics. Emcees, often confused with rappers, were the poets and prophets of the inner city. However, now, entertainers like Mike Jones and Soulja Boy dominate the industry without any artistry, skill or experience
. I do not know exactly why the common man would subject himself to the horrors of pop music. Sure, it’s much easier to make, but the consumer gets nothing in return for the low production value. Personally, I'll take lyrics over beats and catchy hooks any day. It just seems like people want to be musicians today, not because of their love for the art, but for the quick buck. So, now, we have a pool of music diluted by one-hit-wonders and non-intellectuals talking gibberish. What disgusts me most is when a legitimate artist changes their style to better suit the masses and to better fit into the pop music mold.

With the aid of computers, people have proven time and again that in today's art world, no skill is necessary. T-Pain, Kanye West, and others are able to "sing" with the assistance of a computer. Using Fruityloops and other programs has now replaced the use of musical instruments and even some beat boxes. Even outside of music, we see technically-savvy people produce art on a computer, but in actuality, they cannot draw or paint. This is most evident in photography and graphic design. Every person with a camera thinks they are a photographer. Every person with Photoshop thinks that they are a graphic designer. The truth is: when you let a machine do all of the real work, making a masterpiece is facilitated to simple button-pushing...