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  • Writer's pictureHassan Ragab

Capitalism and Art: Technology as a Means to Become the Most Able

I don't think there is a definition of what "art" is. It definitely revolves around emotions and is most likely irrational. It's a craft that shouldn't be science, as the mission of science is to guide us towards facts that we can anchor our lives with, while art (for me) provides us with a way of an abstracted truth that shouldn't be replicated. Actually, it's often dangerous to do so. That's why, while studying techniques and tools to master your craft, one should always escape from what it seems to me the current doom of art in modern times: pure technicality which often leads to plagiarism.

I am not an art curator and while I have a personal critique (bias, just like all of us), I always like to divorce my desires from my thoughts (hah, good luck with that). And with that, I don't get most of contemporary, extremely abstract forms of modern art. For me, art is a holistic experience. And while I don't deem that everything that I don't like is awful (I said I am not an art critic, goddammit); it seems that most popular modern art is the same. I believe there are several factors for this: Capitalism; artists need to make money and the way to do this is through specific monopolistic channels, and while artists try to get over that through Web3 and NFTs, for me, it only seems that the same model is being replicated because, again, everyone wants to be the richest, the best, the king/queen of whatever their hands may reach.

Another factor is globalization; everyone needs to either speak English or be "exotic" (not gonna brood on it now, later). Anyhow, for the last couple of years, GenAI appeared to the masses. Artist or not, you have these tools now. At the moments where I am writing these to you, my dear follower/hater, nobody really understands the impacts. For so long, I have thought that everyone is smarter than me and they know what they are doing. But believe me when I tell you, no one knows shit, and those who argue are just oblivious to the fact that "silence is the language of God". We often say our opinions not because we know, but most often because we really don't.

Where was I? Yes, no one knows shit, well definitely not me. But the world of design and art is sitting on a timebomb of generic art and style universality that is just unprecedented. I believe I need to elaborate on this but I can't drag you into this now, it has to be later. Shit, too many things to tell you but both you and I are almost out of attention span. That brings me to the point I want to make. Art is driven by capitalistic tools like data, science, and the priority of technique. And while open GenAI models came to change that (that's why I am here now, who am I again? That's for later too), and just like any other tool, these tools are being monopolized not only by developers but also by the users who just want to make it in this identity-less, short attention span, physical-less, poorly abstracted, and algorithm-driven world.

I hope all this is not so confusing (it actually is). I have the tendency to connect everything instead of isolating them. I know it's important to isolate to comprehend, but it just seems that we have been isolating everything way too much. And that's what I am doing, trying helplessly to change that with no hope to do so!.
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