An Artist or a Technician?

“I am always confused whether I am an artist or a technician ” the musician I work for says that all the time. Indeed, various digital practices like making digital file for his music and strategizing his social media accounts become his daily practices as a musician. Everyday, he makes his music through Ableton Live, a music production software. By moving his mouse and typing on his keyboard, he is able to recreate the sound of various instruments and arrange them into a complete piece of music. After that, he will convert his music into an mp3 file and upload it on Soundcloud. Immediately after that, this music will be shared on social media like Twitter and Facebook. Then, he will specifically comment or favor other tweets with the same hashtags hoping they will pay attention to him. A lot these daily practices are highly technical which requires a lot knowledge on digital media. That can relate to Fuller’s comment on the blending between cultural and technical in today’s society. In the Digital Age, For both musicians and listeners, music has become a different cultural product from what it was when CD is its only medium. Fuller’s idea of abstract capture is reflected on every aspect of music production and consuming today. A lot of the time, software production can replace instruments sound with digital signal and a compressed file that is available for download and stream can replace a physical CD. The process of making music and music as a cultural product itself have been abstracted and simplified. In music production, there are always happy accidents where software takes over the control creating something that surprises the musician. That reflects Fuller’s idea of the “grayness” of media, an invisible, easily overlooked, governance that is operating in the back.

~ by tianqiu255 on April 26, 2015.

One Response to “An Artist or a Technician?”

  1. I think you had the most informative post. This idea of grayness is so widespread in our social media usage that people don’t even realize its occurring. With your connection to your ecology site of musicians and how the art form is essentially being taken away and being replaced by digital instruments is something I’ve never thought of before.

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