Technologies Impact on Creative Expression
Modern technology has shown to have many impacts on the way activities are both perceived and accomplished. Contemporary cars and airplanes enable us to travel longer distances then those that existed a century ago. Due to the use of cell phones and web-cams, a person can instantly connect with others on a global scale, figuratively transporting them across the globe with a simple call. Mass amounts of information can be gathered simply and efficiently using the internet compared to a Saturday trip to the library scavenging through encyclopedias. Though, there are many benefits to the increase of technology, studies have shown that there are also negative impacts as well. Technology offers a large amount of information, from pictures to text to sounds as well as lights, in a shorter and shorter amount of time. The brain then has to adjust to this vast amount of information in order to process it, changing the way we see and think. One aspect of human culture greatly altered by technology has been creative expression in all of its forms. As previously stated, technology offers both positive and negative impacts in all aspects of mankind, with creative expression being no different.
Due to the increase in the speed of the way life is conducted, the question has been proposed as to whether art will cease to exist or prevail through this era of technological dominance. Creative expression has never been an essential item in life, such as food, water, and air. Instead it originated and has remained an aspect of culture. The very fact that art has lasted century after century through various times of technological revolution demonstrates that it has the ability to persist. Whether it does or not is no fault of the technological advancement but of the individual. As Richard Restak states in his work “Attention Deficit: The Brain Syndrome of Our Era”, we now live in a “make it quick culture” (337). We now live in a society where people are expected to accomplish more in smaller amounts of time. Things have become a lot faster paced in the eye of the individual.
With competition between increased workloads, social networking, and keeping up with information on the latest news, some wonder where art has time to fit into our hectic and busy schedules. Our minds now wired to work a lot faster; it is not that we do not have time to appreciate art, but how the perception of appreciation has changed. We may not take minutes to analyze an art piece and ponder its’
true meaning, but that is simply because our brains have been trained to view and understand visuals quicker. Watching television, any given commercial break can offer information on up to five to six products within a mere minute or so ranging from medications to a toy helicopter. Our brains have been trained to view and analyze faster due to these technological advancements. Therefore, it is safe to say that the question is not if as individuals, we have to time to keep art alive, but if individually we are willing to do so. To address the impacts of technology on creative expression, one must accept that everything in life can have both positive and negative affects based on ones point of view.
The most notable impact of technology on creative expression is the introduction or alteration of new mediums into the art world. Technology has allowed for art to evolve in many ways. Some examples range from painting on a canvas to edited photos, or watching a live play compared to seeing a digital movie. One major art form that has rapidly changed is the way in which music is heard and performed. Dating back many years, musicians did not have any way to record their music and their primary performances were held at special events. As technology advanced, especially in recent decades, music has become a staple for modern culture.
Modern technology not only allows for artists to record their music, but also to reproduce it in vast amounts. With this reproduction, other artists will often sample an original artist’s work in a remix or cover, putting their so called “own spin on it”. This technological advancement has allowed a musician to use various artists’ music to deduce his or her own form of creative expression. Another medium that has evolved from advancements in technology is digital imaging and the ability to incorporate sounds and text to a still image to project a certain meaning.
One great example of this is a cyber-text, a literary form in which each user obtains a different outcome based on the decisions they make while going along, as compared to a novel which has a linear plot chosen by the author. An example of a cyber-text would be “My Body- a Wunderkammer” by Shelley Jackson. This cyber-text utilizes the term wunderkammer, or wonder cabinet, which originally came about in the sixteenth century (Kimmelman 221). In Jacksons’ cyber text are black and white pictures spread about on selectable links, each portraying drawn parts of her body.
When clicked, each link would take the user to a new page, where other links could be selected out of an anecdotal text. Basically through the usage of HTML coding, sound technology and much other technological advancement such as scanners and keyboards, Shelley Jackson was able to combine these tools to create an interesting form of an auto-biography, truly demonstrating creative expression at its finest. Though individual impacts of technology on creative expression can be identified, it is difficult to determine whether certain aspects are perceived as positive or negative.
With the development of the television and its ties to social occurrences, it can be stated that what television viewers see highly influences the capacity for creative expression. As Virginia Postrel writes in “The Boundaries of Design”, “the desire for attractive, controlled, immersive environments extends beyond the walls of shopping malls or restaurants” (297). When analyzing the concept of the boundaries of design in comparison to Julia Serano’s “Before and After: Class and Body Transformations”, one can digress the influence television has had on transgender operations. Serano puts forth that “TV shows and documentaries about transsexuals tend to focus rather exclusively on one particular aspect of our lives: our physical transitions” (392). Transgendered operations can be seen in some views as a form of creative expression, in the fact that they alter the very principle of gender and DNA to gather a desired personal identity which can in turn take them to a realm different from the one they were born into. These are all instances of how technology has impacted creative expression.
Kimmelman, Michael. “The art of collecting lightbulbs.” Emerging: Contemperary Readings for Writers. Ed. Barclay Barrios. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2012. 216-25. Print.
Postrel, Virginia. “The Boundaries of Design.” Emerging: Contemperary Readings for Writers. Ed. Barclay Barrios. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2012. 296-323. Print.
Restak,Richard. “Attention Deficit: The Brain Syndrome of Our Era.” Emerging: Contemperary Readings for Writers. Ed. Barclay Barrios. Boston:
Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2012. 296-323. Print.