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The Rise of Immortal Artists

People ask, what will we do once all the “jobs” are all shipped overseas or made redundant by technology. We. Will. Create.

– Rick Knight

Photo credit: Aurora by Charles Gadeken http://charlesgadeken.com/

We only know of Bach because low bandwidth paper substrates have immortalized him. Below is a digital resurrection and rendition of J.S. Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in 1080p. ThePianoguys art experienced here exists in a new substrate of high bandwidth. It is amazing to think that prior to 1860 every musical note played by artists has been lost forever.

“One reason we are richer, healthier, taller, cleverer, longer-lived, and freer than ever before is that the four most basic human needs-food, clothing, fuel, and shelter-have grown markedly cheaper. Take one example: In 1800, a candle providing one hour’s light cost six hours’ work. In the 1880′s, the same light from a kerosene lamp took 15 minutes work to pay for. In 1950, it was eight seconds. Today, it’s half a second. In these terms, we are 43,200 times better off than in 1800.” – Matt Ridley (Rational Optimist)

Think about that – 43,200 times better off than we were in 1800′s. Yet, artists of that age still found the time to create works of art that we can still find wonder and awe in today. We have been afforded the opportunity to all become artists with the abundance of time we have at our disposal. So what’s stopping us?

We have been formed by the “bureaucratic administrative machine”. Public schooling has made us cogs in the British Empire’s military-industrial machine. The Victorians, 300 years ago, constructed an education system to mass-produce identical cogs and gears to keep the machine running. Schools, manufacture generations of workers for the industrial age, not artists. Schools are obsolete, and what they produce for today’s world is obsolete.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” -Pablo Picasso

The question is often asked to me; “Without jobs, what would people do!? There would be a whole generation of lazy good for nothings”. A life, lived free of obligation leads to creation. Stagnation is a perspective that blinds the imagination. Value, should not be measured from the sweat off of our backs or calluses on our keyed fingers. We are no longer the gears of the system. If there were an accurate measurement for the value of a human life, I would weigh the ‘Condensation of Imagination’. Awareness is the ability to have a mental model of the external world. Imagination is the ability to mold that mental model and render it into reality. Technology has paved a way for us to all become artists. What we chose to create will be the new benchmark of value and worth in the digital age.

“Unbounded by space-time, the new immortal artist will reach out across the ages and beyond the bounds of our known galaxy. This new trans-immortal artist will gaze into the mind of the universal experience and create from a place far beyond the death drive. The canvas will be consciousness and they will paint with stardust.” – Gray Scott

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Kevin, who also goes by the moniker ‘Techno-Optimist’, is a philosopher, futurist, researcher, lecturer, and the Executive Director of SeriousWonder.com. He enjoys educating and speaking optimistically about the future and technology. Follow him on Twitter @TechnoOptimist

5 Comments

  1. What screws up this prediction is the possibility that machines might also become creative and artistic. They could muscle us out of those sorts of jobs in just the same way they would put us out of the factory assembly line business.

    Even after that, humans could still spend their time producing art anyway just for the satisfaction of self-expression, but it would be a brutally competitive field where only a miniscule percentage of humans would ever gain real recognition.

  2. Maybe people will go trout fishing? It was a a common thing for one character in a recent sci-fi book I read.

    Personally I think I will largely do nothing, I will merely relax. The need to do things, to prove creativity, it is so primitive.

    I think my priorities in the future will be to sleep, eat, dream, dive into tranquil lakes, play with puppies and kittens, go hiking, spend a few years sleeping in a snybio-womb-being.

    The need to create art is an unwanted burden. It is odd when people say: “What will we do when there are no jobs.” The oddity is the deficient intellect revealed. I think people are horrified by the emptiness of their own minds, thus if they don’t have mindless-jobs (I’m referring to all jobs) to occupy their attention, or trivial entertainment and creativity to pass the time, they perhaps fear they will go mad because they will be confronted by the gibbering oblivion of their brains. Pre-singularity humans often need “distractions” to avoid introspection, people need to avoid the feeling of existing, they need to distract themselves from existence.

    In the future I will simply exist, which could entail eating marmalade smeared croissants for breakfast then strolling through idyllic woodland, and at the end of the day I will sleep in a meadow betwixt lush tussocks of grass while playful nocturnal synbio creatures inquisitively inspect the existential being sleeping in their meadow.

    When your mind is very powerful you don’t need a job or art to stimulate yourself. Great wonder could be gleaned from merely observing the the sky at night or listening to the sound of the wind. Sadly there are people who funnily think “fun” could be limited, LOL, they could NOT be more wrong.

    Maybe the first thing to do is print a super-intelligent femtotech spaceship then leave Earth far behind, thereby giving plenty of space to the humans and transhumans so they can worry about what they will do.

  3. Eons from now, our creative endeavors may yield an all new line of work; designing universes.

  4. Or you could be an eternal art critic… ;-)

    But joking aside, I think you are right. And even living life in an interesting way could be an art form. We are seeing that already in primitive form with all the social media.