At Last!

Thanks to the wonders of my local public library system, I had an easy artist’s date this week. While I was late – I misread the time, and Mike is still trying to find ways to sneak in tag-alongs (he waited in the coffee shop downstairs) – I still got in on a short, genuinely interesting lecture that scared the pants off some of the technophobes that are traditional library patrons.

I hadn’t looked too closely at the subject to tell the truth – I’ve just come to really enjoy these library lectures, and since they’re free, they’re well worth my time and the eventual donation I’ll be making to their Friends of the Library fund. It turned out to be uniquely appropriate to what our cluster is doing here. The title? The Always on Artist: Technology and Creativity, by Dennis Cass.

The jist was how the massive amount of information available to us via the Internet has changed how nearly everyone processes information – and has resulted in communal art, relatively new territory. While I would argue that graffiti (when not used for gang stupidity) is in its own right a communal art form,  using LOL cats as an example.

funny pictures of cats with captions

There was some panic in the audience; there were people there who seemed to have a personal anti-Internet agenda, and the contentions that it creates an inequity between computer owners and non-computer owners is absolutely correct. The same could be said of cable television, though clearly, the disadvantages of not having a computer in this day and age are far, far steeper and have the same economic implications and bugaboos as car ownership.

I kind of wish we’d talked about information detox, but it wasn’t germane to the lecture since it wasn’t about process. There were some definite technical tips I could use, and it makes me feel a little bit better about what I’m doing – while highlighting two struggles I have:

1. I haven’t really acknowledged that I feel like I’ve had the rug swept out from under me because of technological changes despite people readily providing me with the tools I need to continue to write.

2. I suck at person to person networking, and I think I may even need to go to a workshop on it since I seem to have the actor’s inverse syndrome: I’m just great at speaking to groups, whatever, but face to face I lose it and I’m prone to shyness 1:1 I don’t get in a crowd of strangers.

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