Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
I'm not a fan of the hipster Instagram thing, but it does seem to argue that there's an audience for aesthetics other than "oversharpened and oversaturated". Like most cultural norms, the oversaturated flowers and sunsets seem to create a certain amount of backlash. So I think there's hope in the broadest aesthetic sense, though how many of those people will come to appreciate the specific characteristics of *film*, as opposed to lo-fi digital capture, is anybody's guess.

Commercial work distorts our sense of people's aesthetics, I think. Bright colors and flash and bling capture people's attention and sell products, so they're kind of self-reinforcing. There's an exactly analogous problem in music, where mainstream popular music has gotten more and more "compressed" in volume and "scooped" in frequency, both of which are good attention-grabbers on the radio but terrible for longer-term attentive listening. But I'm not sure that either case really represents What People Like, so much as What Works To Move Money Around.

There was an article in the Guardian the other day about realism fad in film, how Nolan's films in particular have created a new trend for a facade of depth. I think our culture is happy enough with the impression of substance. A quote from Will Self in the article - "There are so many potential cultural sources that all levels of brow can be happily accommodated, including those that deceive themselves that they're higher than they really are."

I think people generally don't have the time of day to invest in deep work, to appreciate aesthetic, and certainly any nuances of craft - unless it's painting, in which technique (or application of paint) has more immediacy. Photographs, more than ever, provide a function - as the OP says, fast food. Rapid 'cultural expansion' and excessive production of work means people want a bit of everything, but don't have the patience to invest in just one thing, especially photography which "has problems" as it is. The article also mentions that "information is the new currency". Instagram happens to be attractive, immediate information. There is potential for real communication of ideas in that fact.