Art and Time: Creating Signposts Instead of Filling Moments

We live in a world today where most of the visual and written work that we produce is judged by…

We live in a world today where most of the visual and written work that we produce is judged by an extremely unrelated factor. Time. Here’s what I mean. As the internet has evolved, almost every information channel on the internet has placed a priority on time. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have extremely quick “decay rates.” Have you posted to twitter in the last 2 hours? If not, you’re irrelevant. No photos on Instagram in the last 24? Forget about it. Haven’t posted on Facebook at least twice a day? Expect that “engagement” to drop like a rock.

It doesn’t matter how great your photo is, how thoughtful your tweet, if it is not recent, in the world of time-based media consumption, it simply isn’t relevant. The reality is, time based media has worked to produce massive engagement online. But, has it made us better producers of our craft?

The focus on recency in how our art or craft is distributed has attached a value factor that has no bearing on it’s actual quality. Recency is now factored into how much attention your work gets. A post that has half the quality of another, but twice the recency, has a good chance of receiving more attention.

The problem with this phenomena is a loss of perspective. We are less able to learn from the past and as a result we have less ability to think about our future. “Now” has become everything.

Art has become content to fill the current moment with something interesting instead of an enduring signpost to point us toward a larger of view of our world.

The irony is not lost on me that I am posting this on a blog / social media. My thought here is we should be cognizant of how recency is affecting the way that we observe the world and what we create. Sometimes the older, might be truly better. The art that isn’t trending might be the thing to pay attention to. The lesson to me is to slow down and become a little more awake.

Also published on Medium.

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August 1, 2016 @ 5:45 pm Trackback URL

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