Wednesday, October 05, 2011

the technology always comes first

In the film PressPausePlay, Bill Drummond makes this point.

Electric guitars were invented because the guitar in 30's Big Band's stuggled to be heard above the brass.

Then along came Hendrix et al, abusing the technology and inventing a genre.

Artists never invented oil paint, or the movie camera but they saw the opportunity the technology gave for creativity.

Here's a couple more for you.

The story goes that the distorted 'metal' guitar sound was invented by Dave Davies of the Kinks who slashed the speaker on his Vox AC30, then launched into the riff of You Really Got Me.

The Roland TB-303 Bass Line synth was originally made as a cheap tool for guitarists who wanted bass accompaniment while honing their licks. Only about 10,000 units were produced between 1981-84 and on the surface it looked like a flop product.

Then in the later end of the 1980s bootstrapped DJs and producers in Chicago found that by overdriving and cranking the box you could achieve the squelchy acid bass sound, and a new genre was born.

Again, all examples of the technology coming first, then artists messing with it - in ways the engineers never imagined - and new artforms coming out the other end.

The lesson here for our advertising creatives is clear. To always be embracing new technologies for their possibilities for creativity.

In particular, the possibilities afforded by mobile, are almost infinite.

For a simple start, mobile can replicate all previous mass media, and then some, particularly with the emergence of Augmented Reality platforms like Layar .

If I was a young creative type out to make my mark today, this is where I would be looking to demonstrate my creativity.

This is the technology I would be abusing, f*cking with, overdriving, cranking and generally poking the box. The tech comes along first then the artist messes with it and creates something new and unexpected.

That's my tip for the day, kids.

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