All Happened Before

I am currently reading ‘Art in 1700-1830’ by Michael Craske. Although, I am not currently in the mood for reading and thus can not enjoy it as much as I would wish, I would still whole-heartedly recommend reading it.

One thing that struck me very much was how much his discussion of the early period tallied with the current culture around computers. As I continued reading this resemblance only became more acute in my mind, as the later period ceased to have any relevance to the current time.

Amusingly, the early period bared such a resemblance to what we have now that the only thing that really stood out to me was what was different: the lack of an existent artistic language to adapt and rely on.I can’t think of anything in modern games like an inflated bladder, perhaps that is due to symbols and signs being less relevant in a moving, interactive medium than in the snapshot art of the Eighteenth century.

Apartcular area in the book that got the mind running though was how he spoke about the artist engaging with the press, relying on the patronage of press people, and the unethical dishonesty of negative reviews about the competition; the dishonesty being necessary to hide how in competition they were.

The later part of the book talked about a dichotomy between those confronting the democratic demands of the market or working for court patrons. It seems unlikely that computer game designers will end up working for courts in a way that they did in the 1800s; even those arts contemporary to the 1800s no longer do that. Although, one can claim many things as a metaphor for courts, that’s all they’d be: metaphors. Rather than the absolute mirroring that the new commercial popularity of computer games as the new commercial popularity of their art had in the 18th century.


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