I thought computers were suppose to make our lives easier. A computer glitch at Customs caused problems at several US airports a few days ago. Not to mention the vulnerabilities that were exposed by the hacking of the DNC, White House, Sony, Yahoo just to name a few. I guess it’s the price we pay for turning our lives over to computers and the so-called “cloud.”
I am all for the digital age but I think it elevates rather than diminishes the important role artists play. The artist’s message is not subject to blackouts. There are no language barriers in visual images. No technology bugs to work out. It’s kind of hard to hack an actual painting.
A few years while heralding the new Dunkin Donuts in downtown Miami, I took a sad pause and realized the historic building that I once delighted in sketching was transformed into a Dunkin Donuts shop. It made me realize the important role we artists play. Sometimes an artist’s drawing is the only documentation of past events or landmarks. My role as an artist is to document social history.
During a postcard talk at the Miami Main Library, post cards were described as mementos of a former time. The decline of postcards sales due to social media and digital cameras was lamented. While social media is a great platform for instant communication, it has not replaced the important role artists play.
How to retain social media records for future generations remains a daunting challenge. According to the article “Saving Government Tweets Is Tougher Than You Think” by Joseph Marks ”federal agencies should establish working groups to determine when agency social posts constitute federal records and how to retain them for posterity.” Obviously, there are some technology bugs to work out.