'You Are Not A Gadget' by modern day philosopher and musician Jaron Lanier has become a real source of grounding and direction through the writing of my dissertation. The book is crammed full of his views of how technology is ever consuming our human nature and the demise of physical expression. There is so much rich and thought provoking stuff in this book to refer to but at random this morning this paragraph is singing to me:
'Before MIDI, a musical note was a bottomless idea that transcended absolute definition. It was a way for a musician to think, or a way to teach and document music. It was a mental tool distinguishable from the music itself. Different people could make transcriptions of the same musical recording, for instance, and come up with slightly different scores' (2010 pg. 9)
A musician playing his instrument can play unique sounds produced by only them; a sound that no other musician can produce. He/she is the creator and outlet for that sound, he/she is able to form a note that is there's and only there's. This uniqueness is part of that individuals personal self expression. It can never be repeated in quite the same way by another musician. It can be used to influence someone else's playing but never be fully recreated.
This likens to my own self expression through my work. Because of it's organic nature there is never one piece the same, each piece of work is individual, nothing is repeated and every piece is unique and real. This is in great contrast to the digital aspect of technology where everything is repeated over and over with no real substance to its existence.
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MA Creative Practice