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.


By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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