One of the elements of the visual arts that make it “art” is that it considers a tiny perspective of human perception and freezes it. Stop! Look at this – LOOK at it, damn it! Details we would normally walk or drive past and barely notice are outed for the art within.
The camera’s pano or pantographic function appeals to the human desire to see everything. Instead of isolating something, it freezes everything into one big, broad sweep. Many consumers find that more appealing and, of course, in a mass market economy ‘pretty’ sells more than ‘art’.
I consider the pano to be an emerging art style, and like any art style, its potential as ‘art’ is still in development. In many ways, a broad pantographic of scenery is the equivalent of sunsets and golf courses – who couldn’t point their camera at one and capture beauty. And for the most part, that’s all I’m doing. For this work, I clipped the ends of the pano to create a composition I felt was more appealing. When I move it into analog form for exhibition I will have to crop a bit of the top and bottom as well so the work can be produced on a 1x3 plate. Most panos, I have found, have to be cropped down if art is to be pulled from it, otherwise there’s nothing to draw the eye – just a sea of distraction revealing nothing. But the process is ongoing – the adventure of discovering new ways to reveal the world.
Educators and sociologists know that human civilization is moving from adaptive learning, which is really a part of the industrial evolution, to anticipatory learning. The former emerged with the information age as change began to descend on us so fast that we couldn’t wait to adapt to changing conditions until they happened, we had to get there as changes were occurring. This means different things to individuals, nations, and multi-national corporations.
Under the adaptive learning model, Henry Ford was content to crank out Model T’s until the consumers he was building them for began migrating in mass to a different product. Under anticipatory learning, Henry should have recognized the changes which emerging technology was about to unleash and ceased producing Model T’s in favor of new models a decade before he actually did.
That would have meant denying consumers a product they wanted to instead force them to purchase a product he wanted to build because he knew they’d want it instead eventually, even if they didn’t themselves understand that yet.
Apple is the personification of a company using anticipatory learning.
Music has been a definitive part of my life. Thousands of songs in my collection and with each one I can tell you where I was when I heard it and what it meant to me. I can rationalize the purchase of every single song. They all hold meaning for me. I would happily continue downloading the songs I want, placing them into collections or playlists that fit a particular ‘feel’ I want and playing whichever one I desire at a given moment. I have complete control. Sure, I still listen to the radio (usually via the Internet) but only as background. I have no desire to stream a service for a monthly fee in which my music is never really mine.
Today, in an anticipatory action, Apple will begin to change how I consume music. Can’t say I’m happy about it. Can’t say I don’t understand the justification for it. Can’t say it’s a change I wanted. Can’t say I want it to rain today, either.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.