Rise and Fall of the media empires (or, the great democratization of art)

I’ll give a shot at embedding a video that I ran across in my wanderings online. It’s a feature film–one hour and 21 minutes, to be precise–that is a highly enjoyable exploration of the new digital realm that we find ourselves in. It broaches the interesting questions that arise when all the old media edifices are tumbling down because of the technological advances of our time. When everyone can make a film, a record, or “fine art” photography for a few hundreds of dollars at most and distribute it online, what is the outcome? A great democratization of media or a drowning in a deluge of mediocre works?

Personally I think it is somewhere in between. I tend to fall on the side that says this is a great thing, because I love being creative and seeing these barriers to entry fall away. And lord knows that even before the internet arrived to everyman, the media companies were already starting to crumble under their own ineptitude, avarice and greed. I’m not sorry to see most of them go and get replaced by something hopefully with a more even playing field. But I also worry about a society that has only a few regional newspapers–a bulwark of democracy, and where (like my town) the only bookstores left are used bookstores.

Interesting times we are in, and only with hindsight will it become clearer.

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