I came across this post called Uncreative Writing: Redefining Language and Authorship in the Digital Age by Maria Popova. It had a lot a great information and content about how the digital age was changing the concept writing and better defining what it means to be an author right now. One point that was made regarding art and youtube really caught my interest. Kenneth Goldsmith, a professor at Penn teaching creative writing stated in an interview that “Democracy is fine for YouTube, but it’s generally a recipe for disaster when it comes to art.”
This statement says a lot about the internet, art, culture, authorship, originality, creativity, writing, and talent. I makes me wonder about space on the internet and anyone having the ability to publish at the click of a bottom. Some sites are considered more valid than others now. For example, before wikipedia was not a valid source, but now it is a great first source to look get an overview of a topic because it is maintained regularly and changes made by the public are monitored. Not to mention in order to get additional information on anything is only a click away. But does the average person realize which sites, blogs, posts, and information on the internet is valid and which is not? I doubt it.
According to Goldsmith, the internet formed a push for a change in writing styles whereas before it was stalled, restrictive. Other forms of art like painting have moved forward becoming more and more creativity with pop and post modern art. But now the internet allows for greater opportunities for more self expression in novel ways, which means more creativity through writing as well. Blogs are a freer form of expression. It is can be written in the moment of passion, and it is more emotional unlike the type of writing that we are used to such as expository essays or persuasive arguments which are detailed and and very specific.
But does having a blog mean that you are a writer? NO. I means you can be a writer but it does not mean that you are. Being a real writer means being aware of the words that you are stringing together and the way or the order in which you are doing it in order to draw out the message that is being conveyed. Being a writer means editing and rewriting and looking over and examining and changing again. Its a long process devoted to precision and every word that a true writer types has a purpose. So what does it mean to be a writer in a world with internet? Reframing and reinventing words it appears. Moving words around to include certain points and purposefully exclude others. This viewpoint of what is means to be a writer is not what it was back in the day. Blogs do not necessarily need to be precise or purposeful depending the person who is blogging. It could be just a form of expressing oneself in moments of anger or sadness or happiness. They are momentary thoughts posted on a website. Tweets are just the shorter form of some blogs. But blogs are wide-ranging in purpose and that is the beauty of them. They don’t need to be written by a 13 year old angry teenager trying to get out feelings or connect with others because it could be 37 year old famous novelist who writes each sentence with the audience in mind and hoping to extract a particular response from that audience that every word that they put down. Self expression on the internet does not mean art, but it certainly could.
Another point mentioned was if you don’t want a work of art or writing reproduced then don’t post it…but is this fair. what about sharing artwork? Isn’t art meant to be looked at and isn’t the internet the best way to allow millions of people access to look at your work instantaneously. Creativity is not lost, its just that we can’t be positive about who that creative idea belonged too. Authorship and originality should be questioned, not creativity. An idea is creative regardless of who came up with it.
Yet, people need to learn how to connect different pieces together instead of just stealing. There would be more originality if folks worked on recreating and reorganizing ideas that are now mixed with their own thoughts, views, and opposing opinions. This is like retelling a story with an added point or message or from a different viewpoint so that the listener learns something new or gets more out of it. That is the new definitionof a genius. “Unoriginal genius” and “moving information” are two words from the post that I read. I love these words. They need to be utilized more often in todays age. There are many types of genius out there…mathemathical genius, emotional genius, musical genius. A new genius such an unoriginal genius is needed for a new form of art due to new technology.