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The Rise of Digital: The Loss of Culture?

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Technology is a wonderful invention that has seen humanity grow and evolve. It has made the fabric of society much more efficient, allowed technological breakthroughs in leaps and bounds through software, healthcare, finance, etcetera. However, this rise of digital might be slowly depreciating art and culture as the digital world takes precedence in our everyday lives.

Art is losing its place and being redefined by technology

The medium of art used to be tangible: paper, easel, paint, ink. However, with the invention of photography, people have stopped posing for oil portraits. With tablets such as the Cintiq or Wacom, more and more artists are turning to their laptops and computers to create art. Technology has given more artists a career - whereas in the past, artists worked freelance. Nowadays, you will have an artistic team in almost any studio: whether for game creation, animation, film or even software.

While art is still being displayed in museums such as K11 MUSEA and collectibles with historic value are still being sold in the high thousands, decorative paintings are now becoming mass produced and losing its value with oversupply. On the other hand, artists are able to market themselves effectively over the internet by utilizing various platforms to create awareness for their art and making bank as a result.

The evolving landscape of photography

As photography has taken over painting as the first choice for portraiture, so has phone cameras begun to replace the artform of photography. By putting a camera into everyone’s hands, the world is “drowning the world in images” reports The Guardian.

Science says that people tend not to remember events or experiences as well if they photograph it. Therefore, in mindlessly snapping pictures, it actually takes away from the experience. Consumers have pushed back on this debate and insisted that it actually adds to the experience. One states that his father was always ready with a video camera to capture moments of their childhood and as a result, they have an extensive video library of their childhood with a father who was extremely present.

Art has become “lazy”

Once, a photographer will count his stills and calculate how many shots he has left before having to put in another roll of film. This makes every shot valuable and they will try to make the most out of every one. In today’s world, you can easily snap a thousand pictures with the thinking that “one of these will work” instead of putting in effort into creating one beautiful shot.

Progress often have casualties, but art is not simply collateral damage. It is slowly evolving along with the times. iPhone users may be replacing professional wedding photographers much like how digital cameras replaced film and how analog replaced professional portrait painters. Instead of thinking that art or culture is dying as it is being replaced by new trends and new practices, think of it as an evolutionary step to a higher state.


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