Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Short Attention Sp...

On the nature of a short attention span, and why this is a good thing for Harvey.
You said the other day that we need to focus and tend to go off in a thousand directions, I would argue this is the reason for our success.
And it's not our fault.
Last year 588 million albums were sold according to soundscan, for the sake of arguement lets say 100,000 of these are original albums, between new bands, new material etc. That’s 6 million minutes of different music. Given that there are 525,600 minutes in a year’re already way behind. Taken another way, minus sleeping and eating, you could only listen to a little over 4000 albums a year in a 12 hour day.
It’s numbers like these that remind me I have to aggresively edit everything.
It’s already too late, and if I want to watch something? forget it, there’s no room for the visual medium, I’m already losing ground listening to music. There is no time to lose, if something sucks, it has to go immediately.
Maybe this can be related to ‘blink’, this jump to conclusions, and instinct should be trusted more than ever in this exponentially expanding content world.
I guess we are having more and more time to consume this content? Maybe not. The increasing hours put into work are now balanced out by the ability to waste time online.
Now having said all this it’s just as valuable to subject this judgement process to the random sampling, so as to not be subjected only to trusted critical outlets.
I remember when I lived in bushwick I made a conscious choice to just have a constant connection to the outside world in the form of ‘The wall of tv’s’ tuned to different channels. (I was also the super and didn’t pay for electricity.) There were a few years in college where I didn’t have a TV or the money for movies, but I listened to a lot of music. I think maybe I was trying to make up for this time period. But also I wanted to give in to this barrage, maybe to condition myslef to the constant noise in order to be able to constantly be filtering through it. I could never be caught off guard.

Now there’s no direct link to any of our work now to that constant barrage of information except that I am all over the place sometimes and I think this blog can be a place for these trains of thought, that don’t go anywhere, that don’t manifest themselves directly as anything, but maybe can shed a little light in ways we might not even realize now.

1 comment:

Matthew Nash said...

I agree. I mean, I find myself constantly editing what I read, watch, hear, etc. You and I are different personalities, of course. I'm not out there seeking out tons of new stuff every day -- I like to immerse myself in a few topics or sounds or whatever for a while. I like listening to the same few albums over and over until I know every chord, then move on to the next. Same with topics I read about, I want more info, more layers, a dense collection of knowledge.

When I look around my library where I'm sitting right now, most of the books are either about art or history, and while there is a ton of fiction much of it is historical fiction, tied in one way or another to the non-fiction. Even the blogs in my RSS reader tend to slant like this. I have news (history in the making) and art, then a few others that are tangents but not really (like blogs of my friends who are artists, or blogs that are humorous but about politics, like Jesus' General).

Filtering is good, I guess. For us as artists, we need to filter to make a body of work that is coherent and meaningful. The millions of possible influences are great, but sorting through them, keeping the ones that move the project forward, that is the hard part.

Now, I'm off to read some historical fiction, or maybe an art blog....