There is something to be said about the exponentiality of technological advancements, that outdoes any that nature could come up with, by a factor of some millions.
Everything we’ve done to go against the gravity of things around us always leads us to something extremely more chaotic than where we started. One such intriguing thing is the advent of Displays. Displays have our lives, so much. Faster than fire or water or even the wheel where able to make an impact.
Let’s imagine the first displays. Which were probably the post world war I period the displays which were used to show pictures and cost a fortune to run. Enter, the nascent idea of moving images.
Capturing, Producing and Replicating reels is still a whole lot of pain in the ass. But, well worth it and displays start springing up in the rate of about one in every city. This truly replicable idea is an extreme boon to the art* industry. Because now the same artist who could only perform for a hundred and fifty people could now reach thousands. Early adopters bagged queenly sums. More, the better.
Add some music and some gloss over it. It becomes the new normal to go to a theatre and stare at the screen of rolling images for hours on end.
Enter, the Television world. The screens which were in the range of one per city. Started popping up in every household and it’s the imperatively normal thing to be watching a screen of useless chatter. Most of the time spent within the four walls gets attributed to this. The artists are better off now because their job just went from adamantly unscalable to scalable to the nth degree within a bunch of years. Art becomes more mainstream. More, the better.
Add to this mix of tomfoolery, Steve Jobs’ crazy ass dream of putting a display inside your pocket. You have a civilization of people who keep art above everything else. A civilization of people, so torn between the internal, slow evolving animal and the fastest evolving technology grasping at your time spent, looking at the screen. Attention prostituting is the biggest of any industry outdoing everything in the market.
To scale up the content production area, which was being outdone by the content consumption rate. Everyone has to become an artist, everyone has to pretend their life is a debonair James Bond movie. Everyone has to feel like they are part of an awesome narrative, no matter if it’s filtered, faked or redid.
And that’s what my generation X has become, a constantly attention seeking, narcissistic, people. Living in a made up reality of lies to receive peer approval. It’s a void from which, none could be retrieved.
Notice, how the screens have become closer and personal as time progresses. Screens are now at hand’s reach for about 2.5 billion people, more than one third of the world population. The trend continues with VR devices. Getting devices closer to the eye.
I’m not an iconoclast of art. I think art is a necessary But, today’s “art” industry is nothing but, whoring on people’s attention giving whatever buzz things people want to hear and believe. This has this useless way of tearing people astray from the actual material things, and more hipster-ish ideas, planting false beliefs and ideas inside people. And is more influential in the wrong sort of way.
It’s with, extreme cognitive consciousness, that one should tread on these thin ice of tipping over to the fallacy of hooked-on-device ecosystem.
*Art mentioned here is not the classical ones. But, the attention begging, eyeball-grabbing Clickbait. Which, includes most content that is being sold as art. From movies to YouTube to novels to self-help books.