Art

Why the Internet Is the Greatest Achievement of Any Civilization, Ever

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Growing up, my father often complained about the rising cost of our cable subscription. The bills got higher, the number of stations increased, yet the amount of television we watched rarely changed. The ‘value-added’ networks didn’t add much value. As the number of networks increased the actual worth of television only seemed to decrease.

Much has changed. The amount of content—the word that has replaced ‘art’ and ‘creation’ in recent years—is staggering, leaving an unfathomable amount of unwatchable television in the queue. Yet many have claimed this to be a ‘golden era of television.’ It’s hard to disagree.

While the administrative bureaucracies behind major movie studios take fewer risks, cable TV studios, many now free from the burden of bundling, are pushing boundaries. Shows like HBO’s ‘The Young Pope’ and ‘The Leftovers,’ the BBC’s ‘Peaky Blinders’ and ‘Sherlock,’ and Hulu’s ‘The Path’ take chances only found in independent movies.

Is Your Life Really Yours? How ‘The Attention Merchants’ Got Inside Our Heads Tim Wu

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Is Your Life Really Yours? How ‘The Attention Merchants’ Got Inside Our Heads

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Tim Wu

Author, The Attention Merchants

09:21

As consumer watching habits shift and producers rush in to fill their needs, the question of creative value has been a constant. The NY Times’ Farhad Manjoo, for one, believes the expanding opportunities offered by the digital revolution are saving culture, pushing art forward in interesting, new multi-disciplinary platforms. Manjoo thinks today is “the beginning of a remarkable renaissance in art and culture.”

“In just about every cultural medium, whether movies or music or books or the visual arts, digital technology is letting in new voices, creating new formats for exploration, and allowing fans and other creators to participate in a glorious remixing of the work. This isn’t new; from blogs to podcasts to YouTube, the last 20 years have been marked by a succession of formats that have led to ever-lower barriers for new and off-the-wall creators.”

There is truth to this, though Manjoo comes off as overoptimistic regarding the number of success stories. He points to a handful of Patreon phenoms who are earning their living as independent creators thanks to monthly subscribers. The technology exists and they have taken advantage of it—a certain benefit for those working from the ground up. The problem of rising to the top of the tens of thousands of Patreon users remains, however.

Which is a different scenario than the cable bundling model. In the old days (the eighties, in my case) small networks were able to exist thanks to behemoths like HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax. This model still works for networks like ESPN, which gets six to seven dollars for every subscription, the highest paid network today. Their success allows smaller players to stay in the game.

ESPN provides a…

Virtual Reality App ‘Art Plunge’ Takes You Inside Your Favorite Paintings

A new app will let you dive headlong into the enigma that is the Mona Lisa. Art Plunge is a virtual reality gallery that allows users to get an interior view of famous works of art, as Co.Design reports, seemingly going “inside” the frame.

Art Plunge—currently available in beta versions for Gear VR, Google Daydream, and Google Cardboard—essentially extends the frame of famous paintings to show what the scene would look like if you were actually in the room with the painter. Created by Swedish designers/developers Martin Eklund and Martin Christensen, the app adds sound and visuals so that you…