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New Meaning in Messaging

Tom Sherman’s article in the September 2008 issue of Canadian Art identifies artworks and media messaging as one in the same thing.
He highlights text-messaging, email, myspace profiles and a number of other interpersonal communications as the messaging that people are taking part in today. He mentions various interesting ways of looking at texting and various media as well as art works, specifically in reference to the work of Joseph Bueys and Andy Warhol, as communication. I found it interesting the way that he mentioned the fleeting focus of the general public, and the way in which such a large variety of messages are consumed daily, perhaps altering our perception for longer-intake type messages. He calls artworks “Messages” with a capital ‘M’ as a differentiation between the quick daily messaging that we do and the messages that artworks send. This could be seen in relation to not only visual art, but also literary art and any art form – theater, music, dance, etc.
This makes me think of attention-spans in television, internet, work ethic, conversation and movies and how they rival these ‘higher cultural forms’ for our attention spans as mentioned in class. Just think of entertainment before mass media, a Shakespearian play could be much longer than 3 hours and just think today about how a movie that pushes two hours long could be criticized for being too long. How much time are we able to devote to art work, to text messaging, to the media?
I would recommend this article if you are interested in the change in peoples use of media and communication between individuals or to a larger audience from an individual.

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One Response

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  1. michaelpugh says

    It’s funny, I’ve thought about this before too. About how attention is becoming harder and harder to maintain. If you think back to the times of Shakespearian plays, well for many people that was probably their entertainment for the week or month. Now with the mass amount of media, networking, and data available to us in countless ways we’ve become spoiled in a sense and if something isn’t giving us everything we want right now we change the channel, or go to a different website, or text another friend… It’s almost like as the availability of information or entertainment increases, so does the bar for our expectation/thirst for how quickly it should be received and how entertaining it is. I guess the question is should we be stopping to smell the roses or keep pushing for the sources with the quickest mental fix. Our lives have become increasingly busy, and many industries have begun to accommodate it. Quicker foods, quicker networking, quicker news etc. have been key for certain corporations to stay on top. Look at facebook and twitter. A few years ago they didn’t exist. But today they are the most convenient ways to stay in touch with friends, and ways of receiving up to the minute news. I personally don’t have to wait for the sports highlights or headlines because I have the information coming to my phone as it’s happening. No waiting involved. Art forms can suffer from this mentality because if they are not meeting the fix right now, people aren’t going to want to wait around and will criticise for the length of the movie etc. or change the channel.

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