• Vivienne Boucherat

Blog 18.Techniques and technologies

I have finally accepted that I need to be more relaxed about - and much more proactive about - the role of technology in my life, in the visual and musical fields and just plain communication! I am proficient in certain areas of visual and music programmes and, rather grudgingly, bits of social media, but have realised I just got comfortable with what I can manage and have stopped learning positively, preferring to leave awkward or unlearned actions to those who are properly skilled.  However, this is no longer working for me!! It can’t...and it shouldn’t! Recently I have found myself tied to a screen (computer / iPad /phone), much more often than I am happy with. I am struggling to love it - but perhaps I don’t need to love it - just get better and quicker at it, then it wouldn’t be such a drag!! I enjoy so much about what the world of tech offers us but the sheer amount of creative choices we now have does fry the brain a bit!  Of course, artists and musicians have always used and, in general, embraced the newest of technologies whether it is a new material, a new process or new equipment. Things like printing presses, cameras, film, recording equipment and record players, amplification, streaming capabilities and 3D printers - have all changed the way our creative worlds work.  Currently, progress in the digital world is increasing our choices at a staggering pace - the genie is out - it can be brilliant but can be distracting and frustrating.

I have more of a problem with my visual ‘digital’ learning than my musical tech at the moment - this may simply be the steep learning curve I am currently experiencing connected to current art projects has caused me to forget how much of a headache I get with recording equipment!! And this is even with people around me who help me with things! When I started this blog it was just a vague gripe about what I perceived as my technical ineptitude, but it led me to thinking deeply about all sorts of things attached to the way we use and accept technology - how it is good for us, bad for us, something we have become accustomed to being everywhere around us, something we rarely switch off, something we rely on - perhaps a bit too heavily? Whether it is making us brighter or less ‘able’. How art and music has changed because of it, how learning has changed, how online communication has become instant and relentless, and on and on... It is exciting and frightening and everything in between. ‘Technology and humans’ is too big a subject for a blog. In the end it comes down to the individual to narrow it down to a personally manageable level - so this is what I have decided to do to try and make friends with my tech: Identify what I actually NEED to be able to do with technology, identify what I actually WANT to do with technology. LEARN it, then not be scared of it! That sounds easy enough...Doesn’t it?

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