I don’t think there is a label that most artists and creatives fear having attached to them more than obsolete. It doesn’t just connote being out dated, it also suggests being irrelevant. A really interesting article in this past weekend’s NY Times discussed dealing with technologically based art once the technology it relies on has become obsolete. This of course got me thinking about the idea of the word itself: obsolete. We have become so accustomed to living in a rapidly evolving technologically driven world, in which the rate of obsoletion seems to increase exponentially. Will this continue to such a degree that we suddenly find ourselves reliant on technologists working to counteract our inability to make use of obsolete hardware, software, programming, etc.? Will we become more and more willing to abandon anything that the tide of progress discards in wakes of obsoletion? Will we gently cry ourselves to sleep on the eve that we discover we no longer have a computer program capable of opening our first love note sent via email?
For now, it is too soon to know what our eventual relationship to the obsolete will be, but it will be revealed on a day that approaches ever more quickly.
(on a semi-related note: I discovered the article, When Artworks Crash: Restorers Face Digital Test by Melena Ryzik, via the post “Do we leave these links broken?” @whitneymuseum on Twitter using technology that, for now, is not obsolete. Another reason that, currently, #ILoveTwitter)