I spent the bulk of 2019 creating the largest painting series that I likely ever will ever create. The series featured more than 1,000 artworks – almost all digital pictures. I seriously doubt that I will ever undertake such an insanely large series again. So what was all the fuss about – why did I do it? In my proposed standard history model – technology development radically impacts culture virtually continually. Culture is the first variable to be impacted – well ahead of social structures and worldview. In order to demonstrate this in an interesting manor I decided to take songs which were enormous hits starting in the 1960s to show how they had become a kind of post modern prayers.
When I was a child prayers were said in places of worship as a group activity. To explain how much this was this case when I was 12 I was driven with a friend by his dad to church on one Sunday. We walked through the church and right out the side door. His dad was waiting right there for us. I guess he knew we intended on skipping out of the service. He was 6’7” tall – and not thin – a very large man. He hauled off and hit my friend instructing us to go back for the service. All of this in front of the congregation filing in for the service. No one said a word. Not every dad would have done that then – but it was not uncommon either. That was how important group prayer places of worship was to the US culture back then.
Music on the other hand began displacing group prayer in places of worship starting with fringe groups starting in the early 1960s. Those new postmodern prayers became completely mainstream within a decade. We think nothing of this shift today. And participation in places of worship has been reduced by 50% just since my childhood. If you are thinking this didn’t demonstrate technology diffusions impact on music – well that is because I eliminated what would bore most people to tears and skipped walking through examples such as how car radios evolved in the 1970s where cars had 8 track players for albums, which then became cassette tapes, which subsequently became CDs which now are totally digital.
The series took digital images and merged two and three or more of the images in order to show how mainstream new thinking became in the form of musical prayers. The proof is in the sales. After I had the look I wanted for the hit song in the digital picture I finished by manipulating colors.
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