There’s so much “stuff” in this world, physical and digital.
Media, consumers, and creators have unwittingly begun dancing a dangerous looping tango.
Rather than challenge each other to create new ideas and form new connections, all of the players in the business of media (which these days means everyone) have accepted the roles of producing and consuming “stuff.”
This is unsustainable and drastically diminishes the art of creativity.
Saying consumers play an equal part in this terrible dance is a loaded statement, but one that is worth unpacking.
The average production and consumption relationship results in environmental destruction, the faltering of grassroots initiatives, and the uncritical acceptance of existing practices.
All of these outcomes together have created a culture that is focused on the short-term—happy to live and die within the span of a generation, or worse, a single season. What is needed is a return to an infinite cultural mindset.
There is a clear overproduction of things (intangible and tangible) that have been created uncritically, unquestioningly, without needing to meet any type of standard other than existing.
New output is produced everyday due to the accessibility of tools for creation. Despite the existence of ever greater quantities of “stuff,” the output that might be of value gets lost.
We have grown accustomed to shutting off our critical thinking faculties. Critical thinking done by consumers and creators is necessary in order to locate the genuinely provocative, exciting work.
As a consumer, critical thinking means making sense of the things before you by making interpretations and analyzing through the frame of seeking a better quality of living. As a creator, critical thinking means making stronger connections with audiences.
Critical thinking in action by consumers and creators leads to output being respected and valued accurately, which pushes culture forward towards the infinite cultural mindset.
Panelists on a MAEKAN Session about criticism spoke about how society’s shift towards social media has lead to the disappearance of meaningful discourse surrounding new work and ideas.
While the dismantling of traditional gatekeepers has lead to a more democratic landscape, it has also lead to more surface-level conversations about work and tepid assessments of everything put before us.
We want to engage in harder conversations and assess the downward looping spiral we’re stuck in critically. This article sets out to establish clearly where we are now and hopefully find a solution to the modern creator’s paradigm.