Art and technology – the old world versus the new. Walking between two worlds and how to balance both so that one serves the other…Questions to ponder.
Recently, I have been engaged in a debate which may be familiar to some of you. Should I succumb to the lure of purchasing a new and shiny smart phone to replace my cell phone?
As a curious person, I love novelty of course. The question is, will it serve me or will it become my master? I watch people all around me every day distracted by constantly checking their phones. Splintering myself into even smaller pieces isn’t something I want to sign up for. It’s bad enough as it is. Being able to focus my attention for decent periods of time without interruption is already difficult. One of the major factors that all artists fight against these days is the problem of distracted thinking that leads inevitably to less time being spent in our studios and on our art making.
Creativity and art making requires quiet periods of time where the brain is free to play without constant pressure to be onto the next thing – we need calm periods that allow ideas to percolate and gently float to the surface of our awareness. This process isn’t helped by being constantly on call to the outside world via email, social media, texting , etc. etc. When we are in our Right brain (our creative side) we want to stay there for a while. Frequent interruption and being dragged back into a Left Brain world is ruinous to our creativity and disorienting as well.
Having weighed both sides of the debate, I have decided that I will keep my old cell phone – I’m making a conscious decision to be “uncool” and in so doing I’m voting for simplicity and clarity over complication and opacity. I’m voting for less distraction and more focused time for art.
I’m no Luddite - I use technology as a tool to enhance my life and make things easier. I have my laptop computer and a tablet for travel – adding a smart phone to this list would be consumerism just for the sake of having the new and cool gadget – a want rather than a need. Count me on the outside of the bell shaped curve… and I’m happy to be there.
If you need to reach me, tape a Tweet to your carrier pigeon’s wing and set her free…. Or, you can contact me through my website….the preferable choice...