Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Essay Research & Progress

I’ve really been struggling with the essay as when I started looking through books looking for quotes I have found a lot more about how technology has affected the perception and value of art, but not a lot about print.

My essay title is ‘Have advances in technology made print redundant?’

Before I started looking in books I thought I would talk about how print has more of a sense of permanence, whereas digital articles can be deleted and removed.

Also, about the tactile element of print that cannot be replicated on a screen. How the physical feel of something can impact on communication of a concept of information.

But I have struggled to find any quotes to back up these points.

Here are the quotes I have picked out so far, but again I am not sure how relevant they are to my title.

I am thinking about possibly changing my title somewhat to instead question whether advances in technology have reduced the value of print. However, this is very similar to the essay I wrote last year on the value of fine art.

I have found a few online articles that have good discussions about whether ‘print is dead’, but I’m not sure they would be suitable to include in an academic essay.

‘This idea of the permanence of print, particularly among younger generations supposedly reared in the digital age, is something dear to the heart of Gerald Richards, CEO of 826 National, the literacy project set up by novelist and publisher Dave Eggers. "When we watch students with books, there's a very different experience – there's that power of having something physical that they own, particularly when they write and see their name in print: it's always there. With computers, it's gone at the touch of a button." ‘

"You might be able to look at a digital game or magazine on an iPad, but you can't cut things out, colour-in, take pen to paper or stick it on your wall," says Emma Munro Smith, editor of Moshi magazine. Despite hugely popular online elements to the Moshi world, for Munro Smith's readers, "having their work, letters or username immortalised in print will always be incredibly exciting".

This is an interesting point about physical interaction.

"Computers and video games haven't killed physical toys and games, so there's no reason why the digital world should kill print. Lack of innovation or providing a poor product is far more likely to do that. The amazing range of technological opportunities that can be used to support and interact with print are definitely a bonus, not a threat." (again Munro Smith)

Print and digital can work together as they offer separate qualities.

New Media – A Critical Introduction – Second Edition

‘The specialist craft skills of twentieth-century production have become more generally dispersed throughout the population as a whole, in the form of a widening baseline of ‘computer literacy’, information technology skills, and especially the availability of software that increasingly affords production of ‘user-generated content’’ p33

Art & The Technics

‘There is no extraneous way of humanizing the machine, or of turning it to the advantage of that part of the human personality which has heretofore expressed itself in what we may call the humane arts’

I’m questioning how far back in history to look as there are a lot of points made about advances in printing technology and how this removed the personal aspect from printing.

Advances in technology at one stage actually allowed print to become more widely accessible.
-       from hand writing to printing.

‘How unique and precious books were, how well respected they were as works of art, we know from the state they come down to us in… But as long as art held production in check, there were never enough books, even in an illiterate age, to go round. ’

Discussing how books were highly valued due to the human touch, they were hand written.

‘The esthetic and personal part of copying was getting in the way of the practical offices of the book; and for the sake of increasing the circulation of ideas, it was time for the two sides of the art to seperate’

Saying that the part of the books that gave them their value was removed for practical purposes. But does this practicality make the book more or less valuable?

‘The point is not that the machine is a substitute for the person; it is, when properly conceived, an extension of the rational and operative parts of the personality, and it must not wantonly trespass on areas that do not belong to it.’

I’ve got a few more books but again I haven’t managed to pull anything that I think is discussing the issue as they are talking about art and technology. Such as in Ways of Seeing Berger talks about reproduction and whether this has affected the value of art. Is this relevant to my subject?

These are the other books I have looked at:

The Cultural Industries – David Hensmondhalgh
Art & Technology - Pierre Francastel (the language used in this book is very confusing.)
After The Machine – Miles Orvell

I have a lot of ideas and thoughts and feel like I have read a lot but I feel like I don’t have a real focus which is why I am now panicking. 

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