by PAMELA HULSE ANDREWS Cascade A&E Publisher
I’m one of those guys that is still a bit afraid of the telephone, its implications for conversation. I still wonder if the jukebox might be the death of live music. ~ Tom Waits
The luxury of the internet, if you put it in the extravagance column, has undeniably opened up the art world to a wider audience. It’s easy to pop open a visual artist’s website and view their work. If you know the artist and want to procure or custom order a piece, the internet is a savvy way to do so.
The performance artist has a rather incredible opportunity to go viral with all the places for listeners to tap into their music from Facebook, Google+, YouTube and Spotify. It’s especially appealing when you want to hear a song or musician instantly and all you have to do is pop up the tune on your phone, iPad or computer. No waiting or searching in a store, just instant music.
However, it’s hard to experience the art of our Roundabouts by looking at them online or appreciate the texture, quality and ambience of an original piece of art without viewing it in person. The internet has afforded us an opportunity to not miss anything, even a gallery opening, when you can go online and take a look at the exhibit. It doesn’t, however, provide the experience of the casual perusal of real art nor a personal conversation about the creative enrichment the artist looks to employ.
The New York Times Sunday magazine went a little further on the internet phenomenon last month when it penned All the World’s a Gallery. It noted that the internet has “for years allowed aspiring stars a way to circumvent the industry machine in order to hit it big” all through social media. This innovative marketing tool has successful artists posting their work on Facebook, Twitter and Instragram. It may not sound like a viable outlet for the art world but social media is helping to bridge geographic distances. How? When a celebrated player (i.e. a famous movie, musician or sports star) happens to see an artist’s work, and likes it, they can tweet it to their 13,000 or so fans and it goes viral.
Still I have to go back to the you had to be there. I am a big fan of Tom Waits, but little did I know how really amazing this iconic songwriter, storyteller, musician is until I saw him up close and personal. I had to pinch myself and my friend, Joanne, to make sure we were really there. And I couldn’t believe the excitement of seeing a Beatle (Ringo) perform right here in a little ole Bend, Oregon. You could not replicate that memory in an online experience.
Hunting for CDs and old vinyl records can be an entertaining way to pass the time on Amazon, but there’s something poetic about dropping into Ranch Records or Recycle Music and scavenging through the music selections.
I’m touched by instant access to the art world, both performance and visual, but I hope you’ll still join me on occasion and visit our galleries, the theatres and the stages in Central Oregon.
Enjoy the sounds over the holidays, nothing beats Christmas music (in my view)!