Art is never finished, only abandoned.
— Leonardo Da Vinci

Not Anymore.

YouTube, Vimeo, Spotify, Soundcloud, and Flickr all allow for file replacement - and it seems that this idea is only catching traction. 

Think of it as URL real estate a la the dot-com boom - you upload your content, and continue to refine, refinish, and remaster it over time, keeping your likes, shares, and comments tidy all along the way. 

Think it's not happening this way already? Take a look at the amount of changes made to Kanye West's last album after it was released.

 

It's...Strange.

I'm not going to pretend that this idea doesn't weird me out a little bit. It's incredibly convenient, yes, but what does it mean for producers and artists?

I think there's something quite beautiful about a finished piece of work. Renaissance painters didn't continue to touch up their work day after day, month and month after it was finished.

Pink Floyd didn't remaster Dark Side of the Moon to best play on every device. 

 

There's also something to be said for accountability.

Who's allowed to touch up, remove, and (dare I say it) censor whatever they don't like? What are the business and/or ethical implications of this system of media consumption?

I won't pretend like I don't benefit from this system - being able to freely edit content while keeping it in one place makes my job worlds easier. I do however become weary of the implications it has on our medium - both for artistic merit and creative control.

 

 

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