I've been following the ongoing conversations about critics vs bloggers and the changing nature of film criticism with much interest. Karina Longworth has had some of the best coverage at Spout, and we (TFI) are planning a panel about this at the festival, but what I haven't heard mentioned is how this is just one tiny part of much bigger changes hitting our culture in the wake of digital. We sound so quaint now actually, and I can only imagine people looking back 20 years from now (maybe 5??) laughing at us for having this conversation. I haven't been able to exactly explain what I think is going on here, but it's definitely part of our shift from orality to electracy, which I've mentioned before and am cribbing from Greg Ulmer. To debate about print journalism vs blogging is as absurd as to debate about print vs web. It's not either/or, it's something new altogether.
Bruce Sterling from Innovationsforum on Vimeo.
In thinking about something else, I stumbled upon this great video lecture from the science fiction writer Bruce Sterling addressing an interface and interaction design conference. The video is long, at close to 40 minutes, and the best stuff is at the middle and the end, but it's worth watching as he describes the possibilities of the future, and what we already have now, very well. At the end, he states (close to a quote) -
It used to be you were a print man or a TV man, and those distinctions don't matter anymore.... The net and its adjuncts are becoming a hybrid meta medium that connects everyone, everything ever place.... Art, Photography, Writing, Literature, Cinema, Design - we used to have all of these formal hierarchies of the creative disciplines that are now all coming violently apart, right in front of our eyes.
He's right, and the people its affecting don't seem to know what's going on, but it's all interconnected in new ways and we are fundamentally different for it. The hand-wringing we're seeing now over critics/bloggers will seem very quaint in just a few years.