Posted On: January 17, 2012
January 17, 2012
I started my morning ritual as usual yesterday, sitting down with the newspaper – Toronto Star first, gathering the pesky inserts that I usually throw into the blue bin. But one caught my eye – a Henry’s ad for the new NIKON underwater camera. It was a simple flat camera, but the feature that caught my eye was the fact that it shot video at 1080p. The price: under $400.00.
Five years ago, 1080p was the pinnacle of hundred thousand dollar SONY professional video cameras. Now you can shoot 1080p on an inexpensive consumer camera, or even on your new iPhone. Pretty remarkable when you think about it. And terrifying if you’re a tech-person who invested the hundred grand in a camera. Off-the-shelf consumer cameras are causing havoc in production circles.
Yesterday evening I went to hear David Hockney speak at the ROM, introducing his ‘Fresh Flowers’ series of paintings/drawings/doodles. Why the category confusion? He made the pieces on his iPhone with a ‘brushes’ app. Were they paintings? Drawings? Works of Art? Inevitably questions came up about the process of monetizing a digital work. Hockney, in his typical Yorkshire directness said he didn’t care – he plans to send them to friends as a little morning present.
Hockney has experimented with media for much of his career – painting for for stage design, creating photo collages and fax art and now iPad art. His insights into media and the screen are interesting. One of the comments was that iPad art isn’t permanent – it’ just 1’s and 0’s, hence it’s somehow not art. Hockney’s response, ‘Well lots of art is ephemeral, think of a play. It’s over when the play’s over. We’re ephemeral. To dust we shall return. Paintings are just slightly less ephemeral, but will eventually be dust themselves. Who cares – the drawings are simply art – nothing more.’
Later in the discussion, Hockney was discussing his photographs and the subject of 3D came up. I had to smile. He dismissed the concept entirely, ‘It’s not very interesting. What interests me is perspective. With all of these screens and inexpensive cameras it’s possible to film a subject from a number of perspectives simultaneously.’ Hockney went on to say how he’s experimenting with a 9 Camera (or 9 Perspective) system – in order to make bigger pictures with multiple screens – almost like a cubist painting brought to life. The possibilities of the tech proliferation is enormous, especially if you have a creative bent.
Hockney calls this tech proliferation a revolution. For 500 years, he says the church controlled the distribution of art – think of all that religious painting. In the 20th century, media distribution was controlled by networks and companies. But now, you can take out your iPhone, record a conversation and email it or post it to over 1,000 recipients, virtually instantaneously. Look what happened with the Arab Spring.
Thought provoking stuff. I came away from the day – slightly nervous, but tremendously optimistic. We (q media) own lots of cameras and editing systems which will be virtually worthless in the near future. But, the possibilities that cheaper cameras and systems offer is incredible. And for 3D – well it’s 3D. The things we are going to see on multiple screens is going to be incredibly exciting.
Click here to see one of David Hockney’s multiple perspective photos.
The possibilities are endless.
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