Internet changes arts scenePublished 2:20pm Thursday, October 3, 2013
People seem to have become too selfish for the arts
Our country seems to have changed from “us” to “me.” Growing up, I belonged to a church, to a religion. Today many people “shop” for a religion which fits them.
Have we become a society of selfish people who continue to narrow our likes so much we will lose the ability to take a chance on something new? Only going to events or looking at art that suites our personnel need. We no longer share. Our music, art, theatre and dance have all become so incredibly me-focused.
Over the past five years, a new trend has started: I will only attend a show I know and I like, never taking a chance on discovering something new and discovering something exciting or different. Tribute shows have been the “hot ticket” over the last five years at venues across the nation. Songs you know from groups you knew in the way you remember all the music. It pays the bills in so many performance venues.
In today’s world people can download singles of songs without sharing or listening to something new. I have talked to artists lately who are no longer going to make CD’s, 70-percent plus of merchandise sales are now single online downloads.
You can see performances on the internet without leaving home and skip parts you wish not to see. You can look up online Purple Rhinos because that is your favorite art to hang on your walls, print them at home and never have to look at anything new.
People say, “I have never heard of them (or the performer) so I will not attend. Theatre and dance have taken the biggest paid audience decline over the past hand full of years. Or have they?
We don’t want to take the chance that the new play might not be good so you will wait for a show you know and like. The music and art industries are changing, but to what end. Yet, there have never been more artists or sharing of the arts then this time in history because of the Internet.
Anyone from anywhere in the world can be a performer or artist and sell their works to virtually anyone on the planet. No agent, no marketing department, no filters to know if your work is destine to be a “classic.”
A college professor, taught me to dig through the $1 LP section because I might, and usually did, find that “diamond in the rough” by listening to all the music on the vinyl.
Our world is changing. People have right to spend their time and money as they like, alone with an iPod or computer. This trend is changing the arts.
We as a people will need to rediscover what it is to share, how to be a part of a new community or are we already to selfish to explore together the possibilities?
Michael Burgraff is the director of A Center for the Arts in Fergus Falls.