Monday, January 25, 2010


With computers, smart phones, and everything in between becoming ever more ubiquitous, more and more Americans have constant access to more information, more forms of (usually sedentary) recreation, and, undeniably, more constant communication with friends and family than ever before. We won't understand the long-term benefits or consequences of our ongoing transformation for another generation, perhaps - but I believe that most people would agree that we live a world (or at least a nation) fundamentally different than the world we inhabited just ten years ago.

Even more recently, these devices have evolved rapidly as creative tools. While computers have provided new opportunities for creative expression since the dawn of home computers, today's technology allows for increased collaboration and mobility. Most smart phones include video recording capabilities - and, increasingly, editing tools. Iphone apps include tools for creating imagery and music - It's possible to shoot, edit and post online a podcast or YouTube video without touching a laptop or desktop computer.

Combine the ability to create with an improving platform for connecting and collaborating, and the next several years seem to promise an entirely new opportunity for artists around the world to work intimately with their compatriots. It already happening - search "collab" or "collaboration" on YouTube, and you'll discover many small groups of users - tens of thousands of miles apart and of all ages - working together on a variety of innovative projects. From these early experiments will almost certainly emerge entirely new opportunities for creative, micro-economic (i.e. individuals doing business together) and personal interaction.

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