“The digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed creativity and talent of people in an unprecedented way, unleashing unlimited creative opportunites. But does democratized culture mean better art, film, music and literature or is true talent instead flooded and drowned in the vast digital ocean of mass culture? Is it cultural democracy or mediocrity? This is the question addressed by PressPausePlay, a documentary film containing interviews with some of the world’s most influential creators of the digital era.”

This 80min documentary film is worth a watch, especially for any artist or creative professional. In this Information Age, one cannot avoid nor deny the effects of technology in transforming the way art is created. The film seems to suggest that instead of the glass being half-empty, artists today are more empowered than ever to create art.

With technology, the craftsmanship and the elitism that comes with it is subsumed in favour of the role of the artist as a communicator, as opposed to being a technical genius only good in one instrument or a particular craft skill. Because technology is changing so fast, art schools teach students more about the process of communicating through the craft rather than the technology itself which will become obsolete in a few years. Because of technology, it is more important for live performers to connect with the audiences in a genuine manner since their music can be downloaded or viewed online easily.

With technology, artists can take on multiple roles of visual designer, music maker, art director and animator or programmer. The model of the production houses with traditional roles of director, visual designer, modeller etc is becoming skewed in favour of a model of a cross-disciplinary collaborative effort between multi-skilled workers.

With the Internet, it is easier for artists to reach out to audiences across virtual space. While there could be a cacophony of voices out there screaming for attention, only time will separate the talented artists from the rest of the crowd, because it is their works that will have the widest reach and longest lasting impact and legacy.

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