I'm thinking lots on the transient nature of things.
Especially in art, software, and entertainment, but y'know, everything is changing all the time.
My recent pieces of evidence:
- All things are acquirable, including blogs and podcasts
- There are genres of games I grew up playing that have fallen from the limelight into niche-status. Platformers comes to mind.
- Though, Point and Click Adventure Games have hit me really hard lately. LucasArts closed in 2021. Humongous Entertainment, maybe a juvenile example, but one from my childhood, had a short 15 year run before closing due to both hand drawing animation becoming to expensive and their target age range of young kids growing up quicker, wanting to move on to games marketed for older kids.
- On the topic of 2D Animation: Austin Kleon wrote in response to the Oral History of Lilo & Stitch. Kleon writes about how you know it's good when you have to ask "how did this even get made??" and Lilo & Stitch was one of those for Disney. The Florida studio that developed it, though, was closed only a year after, and marked the major shift for Disney away from 2D animation.
- Austin, Texas.
- Man, even the climbing gym I go to was just acquired!
Maybe it has to do with my age. Large slices in the pie chart of my life have been pretty consistent and sturdy. Same group of friends k-12. Same colleagues in college. Even in teaching music, working with the same folks. It helps that my medium — teaching classical music — was a backwards looking genre. There were discoveries to be made, but they weren't the "ground moving underneath you" kind of discoveries.
Lots of feelings to be felt here:
It's cool! New stuff all the time!
It's a bummer! They don't make it like they used to!
I'm somewhere in the middle. Mostly, I'm becoming more aware of how important creative work is as a response to shifting sands.
In grad school, I read Making Your Life As An Artist by Andrew Simonet. Lots of great practical advice, though the opening of the book has a beautiful explanation of why all art making is important:
With food, there have long ben seed savers and farmers who reject the standardization of our diet. They grow things that don't fit with industrial agriculture. They preserve the seends for plants we may need someday.
This is what artists do culturally. We provide the wide spectrum nutrition that the soul needs and the Entertainment Industry ignores. We save cultural seeds, the DNA of ideas and ways of seeing that we may need tomorrow.
Or in 20 years.
Or 2,000 years.
The nice thing is it's not just high art that's worth preserving, so is the folk music.
All the same, when making something that comes from a place of authentic curiosity and fascination, it's a way of casting a vote for the staying power of that idea.
You bring your own intersections of the different moving cultural pieces, and we get a double wammy - preserving meaningful culture and creating something new in the process.