Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Ecology of Art - Another Spin

In the May third edition of the Washington Post, the Arts and Style section focused on how the behavior of people in the digital age have evolved as they interact with art.  From rich theater goers in Elizabethan times, who paid extra to be seated 'on the stage', to current theater goers who are addicted to their cell phones, "Decorum in the Digital Age" has demanded a new set of rules. I guess 'expectations is a better word than 'rules'.

More that one stage artist has stopped the show to insist that a cell phone user, "Turn the damn thing off !".  Then there are those who go to movies and must discuss, criticize,or even pull a spoiler alert and reveal the plot in loud conversation with their friends.  Audiences are more and more annoyed by rude, self centered people, who perhaps have damaged their hearing from high volume ear buds, and have lost their ability to whisper.  An attitude of behavioral entitlement earned by the price of admission can ruin the experience for an entire audience.

As technology evolves, many humans are losing their interest and ability for social interaction.  How many times have you had someone with their attention totally engrossed by a smart phone or tablet collide with you on the sidewalk and glare at you expecting an apology?

Most artists create their art out of a desire to share their ideas, beliefs, and skills with others.  Consequently, most art is shared in public places.  Public in this context is 'people sharing a common interest'.  If your only interest is taking a 'selfie' with a celebrity, or to prove you were there at the event; if you are so engrossed with your own image, stay the hell home and look in the mirror, and leave art lovers in peace.