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Posted by on Aug 18, 2010

James Brown and the Original Video Tutorial

For lack of a better term, this is incredible.  Is this not the greatest tutorial video ever produced? It gives a great indication of an artist who knows his audience, knows his appeal, and knows exactly what they want to extract from him. His James Brown-iness. It goes right at the heart and doesn’t let up for a second.

It is brilliant on so many levels, but it raises some big artistic questions in the land of instant entertainment, even homogeneity online. I mean if we all access the same content at the same moment in time, does it stand to reason that variations on a theme will flutter in the sun and quickly dissipate? Will they spawn a separate movement, or even a recessive gene lurking in the background?

Where is the chaos of creativity?

Well, it certainly isn’t very far from James here. But these variant dances, all sequestered around expression, will they live on? Like a plant, time to grow? Tons of questions, I know, but I wonder if the time given to art will shrink to a point that novelty will equal art. Think about it. The time given to evaluate will depend on its attention grabbing properties. This, in turn, will influence art. When attention equals evaluation, then art=attention. Our Prousts, Joyces, and Shakespeares are merely stillborns.

But am I overdramatizing this a bit? Yes.

Will the human artistic phenomena carry on? Yes. Just look at James Brown. There will always be a James Brown just like there always be a beating heart. It is just those dances will need to come a little quicker to keep our attention. Now, if only we all danced (or tried to) like James. Then this wouldn’t even be a discussion. We would be too busy doing something, rather than debating the impact of something on us.

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