Just a few mins ago an interesting article that hits on many many points made here posted:

"For the first time ever," John Berger remarked, "images of art have become ephemeral, ubiquitous, insubstantial, available, valueless, free."

"Advances in photographic technology -- Kodak to Polaroid to Canon to Lytro -- have been shifting the cultural economics of pictures, transforming them from something scarce and therefore artistic and into something abundant and therefore mundane."

PMK-25, you wanted to ponder theoreticals of the future, this might just be it...