“I am merely making the point (for the umpteenth time) that the ongoing loss of literacy imperils culture and consequently future generations and that the overweening predominance of electronic devices in modern society has a great deal (but not everything) to do with that.”
Is the argument of yours I’m referring to when I question the data that showcases that literacy and attention are, in fact, trending down, while
“Besides, I sense an inherent defensiveness about literacy on these boards which is all too common among the very young and which merely serves to prove my point.”
Is where I started discussing defensiveness.
Edit: anyway that still sounds defensive so I do apologize, I am definitely turning this into a more personal thing than it ought to be, and that is all on me.
“However, I think about things like white noise CDs and ‘background music’ and noise-canceling headphones”
Right, but that’s a way of normalizing out irregular noises with regular noise, basically subtracting out the portion of the external sounds around you that overlap in frequency with the intentionally introduced noise—you’re intentionally causing a type of cognitive inhibition, your brain learns not the “hear” a particular range of sound. So, for example, if I’m using a Beethoven sonata to drown out traffic noise or the neighbor’s dog barking or whatever, it may help me not hear what I’m trying not to hear, but it also means I’m not really hearing the sonata either. It may still be hitting the ear, but the brain is switching a portion of it off.
It’s roughly the same for any stimulus. If you’re watching a film in a very bright room, all the ambient light is going to dull the experience of the visuals for you.
Right, Matt. “You’re intentionally causing a type of cognitive inhibition”:
“How can you think through all that noise?”
Noise increases but humans adapt.
I actually want to move in a tangent now. There’s a Andy Warhol quote that was featured in an experimental film I saw recently. It talked about how human beings used to have a physical limitation to the space/area they could take up, but media, especially the television, removed that physical limitation. Now performers who were supposed to be far away and on a stage are kissing-distance in cinema and television close-up.
I previously brought this point up before somewhere on this board as an idea that maybe our anxiety and antipathy toward mass media is in some part the result of this: that we feel our private/personal space violated by such media as radio and television, whereas things like books and cinema are media we go to instead of set up receivers for, and the Internet plays some hard to define dance between going to (URLs, search engines) and receiving.
My general point being here that if the question is one of contemplation and its effect on art, mass media that is received versus gone to is considered structurally contrary to contemplation whereas mass media that is gone to versus received is considered structurally a more contemplative medium. Our relationship between how far we have to search versus how much work we have to do to tune out is a possible dependent variable of the contemplation equation. Or at least this is one interesting way of looking at it.
Edit: and here’s some McLuhan, because theory, that’s why:
“May I suggest art in the electronic age is not a form of self-expression, but a kind of research and probing. It is not a private need of expression that motivates the artist, but the need of involvement in the total audience. This is humanism in reverse, art in the electric age is the experience, not of the individual, but of a collectivity.”
To follow up, I went to the-movie-times.com, applied the equation: total gross / opening weekend gross, and I compared to scores.
My initial observation was that certain ones performed very high: Specifically films that came out around Christmas and ones that opened up limited release. So, excluded those. And certain ones performed very low: Ones that had a very strong opening weekend. This is probably because so many of the film’s potential audience had already seen it.
So, I decided to only count films from 2011 that had an opening weekend between $10 and $50 million and did not come out around Christmas. Here are the winners: (Counting all of them that are either in the top 30 for the year or have a score higher than 5)
Rank. Movie: score rotten tomatoes score
1. The Help: 6.513 76%
2. Hugo: 6.442 93%
3. Bridesmaids: 6.442 90%
4. Crazy. Stupid. Love. 4.415 78%
5. Puss In Boots: 4.379 83%
6. Horrible Bosses: 4.153 69%
7. The Smurfs 4.005 23%
8. Rio 3.661 72%
9. Super 8 3.582 82%
10. King Fu Panda 2 3.467 81%
Nine out of ten got generally positive reviews.
And by the way, the ones that I excluded because they came round Christmas and scored above 6 are: Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and War Horse, which all received very good reviews.
So, quality of a film does affect a film’s gross: Just not the opening weekend gross.
Edit: I realized after I posted this that after I got to 30 I just scanned the list for anything scoring over 5, so when you include stuff below 30 with a score above 4 the list changes a bit. Now, Lincoln Lawyer is #5, which got 84%, and Insidious is #9, which got 67%, but New Year’s Eve (8%) and Soul Surfer (45%) also got in. But, Smurfs is knocked out. So, still 8/10, with the whole top 6 being 76% or higher
“So, quality of a film does affect a film’s gross: Just not the opening weekend gross.”
I would say the current conventional thinking is such:
Commercial saturation —> opening gross.
Hype/rating/good reviews/word of mouth —> continuing gross.
Outside of that convention, let me add:
Overhype/oversaturation of either —> inevitable fallout. The invasiveness of personal space via mass media (re: Andy Warhol) causes a defensive reflexive reaction. Audiences start cohering once a certain tipping point is reached, and start dividing past another tipping point. These curves were more coherent back when there was less media and the media targeted broader audience demographics instead of just lowest common denominator demographics.
“I agree. There are certain advantages to having IMDB/Wikipedia/etc. readily at our finger tips. But there are obviously disadvantages too. The issue being aware of them. The problem with younger people is that they may not even be aware of the disadvantages, since this is all they know.”
If I need some quick information about say Charles Baudelaire, I’ll go to Wikipedia. But if I want some in-depth insight into his creative processes, I’ll read a damn book.
Likewise, I enjoy older, slower films but I’ll also watch a Jason Statham action thriller with all the quick cuts, etc. But if the latter is all that one is used to, a masterpiece like Rosemary’s Baby does indeed seem slow and boring.
I don’t understand your gymnastics, Jirin. lol. Can’t we just keep it simple? The top ten box office winners of 2011 were:
1. Harry Potter 8
2. Transformers 3
3. Twilight 4
4. The Hangover 2
5. Pirates 5
6. Fast Five
7. Mission Impossible 4
8. Cars 2
9. Sherlock 2
haha – I like how these are all sequels except for Thor.
Now which ones got good reviews? Harry, Mission, and Thor? I guess if you want to set the bar low, maybe Sherlock and Cars? But even then, the definition of “good reviews” has gone down exponentially. None of these films are on par in terms of quality as previous years (I guess some might make an argument for Harry). Where’s the equivelent All the President’s Men, Rocky, The Godfather, Deliverence, etc. Hell, look at 1968 – 2001 was the top box office champ! Can you even fathom something like this happening today? Can you imagine The Tree of Life making more money than any other film in 2011?
Unless I’m blasting The Black Keys on my Sennheisers, I try to avoid noise. Persistent and pervasive noise has been proven to cause everything from hypertension to stress to emotional disorders. A lot of the IPod kids will eventually suffer from earbud hearing loss. And as for the young who allegedly don’t mind increasing noise levels, I’m reminded of the boiling of a frog by placing it in cold water and incrementally raising the temperature.
Well, in my experience, because there has been such a proliferation of access points, what you’re really getting is slight overlaps with many more people rather than a small group of people with matched experiences.
My experience at mubi (and other sites) is that you get a small group of people with matched experiences—or interests—if that. This surprises me, and I actually think we can solve this problem, but we just haven’t figured it out yet.
I don’t think we’re seeing a disappearance of silence and stillness. Older people still appreciate both those qualities. It’s just that before all this connectedness, kids would get bored and go out and play baseball or spend all day on the phone (Actually talking over the phone) instead of doing everything on their smartphone apps and internet sites.
When you say “older people,” are you implying that younger people no longer appreciate silence and stillness—because that’s troubling. While mobile technology has made life fun and convenient, if the cost playing and interacting with other people in creative and healthy ways, then that’s a big price to pay—in terms of health (obesity) and social and intellectual development.
When I was growing up, I’d play with the neighborhood kids—either football on the street, riding our bikes around the neighborhood, or we’d make up games—some of them imaginary (e.g., we’d use a tree house and pretend it was a space ship). There’s evidence that this is really does help intellectual and social development, and I really hope my children will be able to experience the same thing. But if I had access to the technology that exists now, there’s a good chance we wouldn’t have done those things.
I question the romanticized past where everybody had this ability to contemplate.
Have you ever tried turning off all of your electric gadgets for a day or more? When you’re commuting, walking, waiting for something or just hanging out at home, try turning everything off and see what happens. I would bet that you would reflect and contemplate a lot more, during these times.
And try this: sit at the edge of your bed, close your eyes and try to clear your mind of all thoughts for about five minutes. Five minutes doesn’t seem long, but in my experience, keeping your mind empty of thoughts for that long is not easy. The point is that when your still and not distracted, your mind automatically starts thinking about things—and this is part of reflection. But when you’re constantly pumping information into your mind, the ability to contemplate and reflect in this way either stops or decreases considerably.
The issue I have about the argument for contemplation is that it connotes some sublimated or enlightened perspective, and my own opinion about the past is that it is far from indicative of the sublime or enlightenment.
The word “contemplation” does connote a profound activity, but I don’t mean it that way; that’s why I try use the word “reflection” or “digestion.” The words denote thinking about an event that has already happened or an idea had in the past. This re-thinking doesn’t necessarily make a person deep, nor does it necessarily lead to enlightenment or wisdom—but I would argue that one can’t become deep, enlightened or wise without reflection. If our knowledge and understanding is only limited to the moment we first experience an idea, event or object, then our knowledge and understanding probably won’t be very deep. We can’t absorb everything in the moment of experience—this is especially true for a lot of great art and ideas. We need time to go back and think about and examine these experiences and ideas if we really want to learn and fully appreciate them.
My concern is that wireless technology inhibits or prevents this because it allows a perpetual “first time experience,” and it allows us to never “stay in one place.”
What’s not to understand? It’s total gross divided by opening weekend gross. In other words, the commercials got people into the theaters. They went to their friends and talked about how they felt about the movie. What percentage of those discussions led to more people going to see the film? How strong was the effect of word of mouth?
Getting the most people into the theaters is not the same as getting them to walk out of the theater happy. Films that get better reviews make people walk out of the theater happy. And all the films you list are great films, but they’re also films that have had time to canonize.
But are we just reacting to any cultural change as a negative change? Are we just judging current culture by aspects of past culture that it lacks, noticing something annoying we’re not used to and waving our canes at it? Maybe it’s just a new generation’s chosen way of expressing itself.
I wonder if anybody’s done a study where they take people who are used to social media and ask them to discuss their thoughts on some serious political issue. Like, ‘Give an argument to raise taxes, defend your argument. Now give an argument to lower taxes, defend your argument.’ Then, have people rate the argument without knowing which control group they’re part of, and see if social media really lowers peoples’ conceptual understanding of the world.
Well, in the case that I have made, this particular cultural change (which is ongoing) is a negative change because it represents a loss. Change is the only constant. I understand that. But I am seeing some changes that are definitely on the debit side of the ledger. With my concern for literacy, that is not something that was an aspect of past culture that can be safely jettisoned. It IS culture. Preserving literacy in all its aspects is about the preservation and transmission of culture. Anything less is devolution.
Such a study would be interesting. I wonder how someone (of any age) who relies almost exclusively on social media would perform. Can one argue political issues if one has not read enough history to know what has been done, what should be done, and why?
This discussion reminds me a little of an argument I used to get in with some friends of mine who were huge music fans and devoted to their I-pods. When I called into question the effects of being involved in someone else’s constructed emotional space all the time, they would deny there being any consequence suggesting that they weren’t being affected by it. The problem I had was that these same people, obviously, are ones who found music deeply important and meaningful to their lives, so there is simultaneously a claim of it having a profound effect and not in the same instance.
The idea of contemplation isn’t so much connected to “knowledge” per se, but in being alone with your own thoughts and emotions. It seems pretty clear that in much of modern society this is increasingly difficult to do. Where at one point one had to actively seek out music or other media, today, as Polaris suggests, one actively has to seek to avoid it if one is out in the public square. What this means isn’t entirely clear, although there are plenty of hints leading in different directions. We can’t say what thoughts would go through, say, a farm worker’s head in era before media saturation, but we can certainly suggest his head wasn’t as likely to be filled with the myriad remnants of pop culture detritus. What music, for example, he may have know was likely limited to what was performed by people he knew or himself and thus a different sort of bodily or associative experience than we have today. There was undoubtedly a different, more intense connection to the natural environment and a distinctly different awareness of the passage of time and connection to his immediate associates and surroundings while less general knowledge or awareness of larger machinations in the society at large. Things were likely more “personal” for such a man as that was almost the sole measure of the world, minus some likely limited knowledge of religion and folk lore or what was deemed important in among his immediate group of acquaintances. This is a crude stereotype of course, but I think it is suggestive of what I’m getting at.
Whether such a world is “better” or “worse” is going to depend on what you are trying to measure and from what perspective the measurement takes place. But there are certainly trade offs involved, and these will have an effect on the world we live in, so paying attention to them and trying to unravel what is being lost and what is being gained is an important question as to ignore it is to allow events to shape society helter skelter.
Another rough analogy might be in thinking of music, or art in general, as having some rough emotional parallel to how we view the world or experience it. In classical music, for example, the base tends to be silence, the music comes form and recedes into quiet. That is the presumed starting point for the emotional logic of the piece, and the “thoughts” or “feelings” one takes from it tend to have certain expectations of memory and attention which one can also associate with a world with less demands. This is true of much of the “high” arts in their demands on the individual are of a different sort than much of more modern culture. Instead of silence, for example, the base line of much music today is, well, a bass line. Popular music asks for different sorts of attention and reflection as it is a more immediate or directly effecting form, one where the intensity of the moment is more the measure than the collected impressions as they play out in time. Again, this is a generalization, but one which I think leads to some idea of what has changed emotionally in the culture as art can be seen as carrying something of the emotional logic of the times.
We do adapt to the times of course, humans are noteworthy for their ability to do that sort of adapting, which is why the question of better or worse isn’t always clear as where we each are in relation to the era and its demands will differ.The ability to adapt though doesn’t mean what is being adapted to is value neutral, nor should all forces in a society be seen as pushing the same way. For example, advances in medicine are helping people on average live longer, but the sedentary lifestyle many of us lead, for a complex group of reasons, can be working against this advancement, and such advances won’t effect all people equally. As was mentioned, we are as much shaped by technology and culture as we shape it, and keeping this idea in focus is imperative.
Jirin said, But are we just reacting to any cultural change as a negative change?
First of all, I would say that the internet and wireless technology have had tremendous benefits. The fact that I can communicate with all of you about movies is definitely one of them. (There are more benefits, but I’ll leave it there for now.) My point is that I don’t think these technologies are all bad. Now, whether the changes, on balance are positive or negative, that is a much tougher question to answer. I don’t really want to list all the pros and cons and try to answer them now, but let say something in response to this Jirin’s second question:
Are we just judging current culture by aspects of past culture that it lacks, noticing something annoying we’re not used to and waving our canes at it? Maybe it’s just a new generation’s chosen way of expressing itself.
I don’t think I’m uncomfortable with the new changes—indeed, my personal concern is that I’m too comfortable with them! And that’s a potentially dangerous because I can easily embrace the new technology, in spite of the drawbacks. It’s these drawbacks that I’m trying to talk about in the thread—specifically, the loss of moments of silence and stillness, which I think is crucial for art.
But I belive I’ve mentioned other drawbacks—namely, the way internet media seems ill-suited for the expression and discussion of complex ideas and issues. (You can also include TV into this.) That’s not to say that forums like this, blogs, youtube, or even TV and radio, CAN’T adequately address complex ideas and issues, but it’s more the exception rather than the rule. I would guess the people who use the media this way are small compared to the people that use the internet in more shallow ways. It’s like the number of people who watch C-Span versus the number of people who watch American Idol.
Some perceptive comments, Greg. Speaking of IPods, you reminded me of two problems I have with them. I own one, by the way, but I much prefer my home stereo and my car stereo. I used to run quite a bit, and usually did it cross-country. It was for me a form of contemplation. I would get into a rhythm, listening to the beating of my heart and the natural sounds around me and just flow, thinking my thoughts or sometimes not thinking, just being in the day with my body. Now I often see runners with the IPod attached and I wonder what that must be like. Even outdoors they are in essence still cocooned in a mediated environment and the effect of “being one with nature” is lost. Not only that, if one is running on a street, not being able to hear traffic can be quite dangerous. The second thing about IPods and the way they are most often used is that the music stored is in discrete songs rather than whole albums. Of course whole albums can be downloaded but usually it’s a pastiche, the same short attention span hopping from one thing to another that characterizes other electronic media. A lot of IPod users do not allow themselves to experience the flow of an entire album as designed by the musicians. Only the “hit” or the “best” songs are wanted, when oftentimes a lot of wonderful work is ignored. This, by the way, is bad for the music industry because the concept of albums is slowly dying. Imagine choosing only one or two songs from a seamless entity like The Dark Side of the Moon or Nebraska or whatever. Again, something is lost.
As you point in your final paragraph, change and adaptation to change is inevitable, but not necessarily good, sometimes far from it.
Yeah, the “mediated” environment issue is a big one to me. One can just look at the way people select music to “enhance” their desired experience, like the people who have special “workout” music for example to pump them up. That they find such a thing effective is notable, but that they need to do so is also.
I pretty much agreed with everything Greg said, and I want to underscore some points he mentioned:
The idea of contemplation isn’t so much connected to “knowledge” per se, but in being alone with your own thoughts and emotions.
Exactly. And as Greg mentioned this is becoming increasingly difficult to do. Does this pose any threat to movies and art? That’s the question of the thread. (@Greg, how would you answer this question?)
We can’t say what thoughts would go through, say, a farm worker’s head in era before media saturation, but we can certainly suggest his head wasn’t as likely to be filled with the myriad remnants of pop culture detritus.
Right, and we could also say that he probably had more opportunities—much more—to be alone with his thoughts and feelings. I’m arguing that these moments are crucial for appreciating art—perhaps not only because they provide opportunities to reflect on art, but they also condition us to be comfortable with “doing nothing”—which I suspect isn’t the case for a lot of people (including myself).
(empahsis added). That last sentence I highlighted is really important, imo. The likelihood of stopping technological progress is pretty slim (and might not be desirable), but, at the very least, we should all be aware of the trade-offs of new technology. We should proceed into the future with our eyes wide open.
The ability to adapt though doesn’t mean what is being adapted to is value neutral, nor should all forces in a society be seen as pushing the same way.
Another good point.
Well, Jazz, to the overarching question, I would say, yes, to certain kinds of art or experience the loss of stillness or space for reflection is decidedly having a negative effect, for the works that come from an environment seeped in “noise” though it provides something of the ground for the work. Hence the rise of “remix” or “appropriation” culture and all the fast moving immediacy of so much art out there. The 140 characters or less attitude creates its own sets of values, values which I, obviously enough I guess, don’t share, for example.
The 140 characters or less attitude creates its own sets of values, values which I, obviously enough I guess, don’t share, for example.
Heh. I’m right there with you, man! :)
What do you mean by “ground for the work?”
Yep, it’s done in so many ways once one starts looking. The two-minute soundbite on the evening news rather than substantive coverage in a documentary or newsmagazine. Allowing someone else to choose what’s important or noteworthy rather than doing the work to find out for oneself. It’s tantamount to watching movie previews but never the film. Cliff’s Notes for a book but not the book. I’ve come to the conclusion that much of life in modern industrialized culture is a warped form of insulation. Reality shows are popular, but reality must be avoided at all costs. Regarding the selected music to pump people up, several documentaries on Iraq and Afghanistan have shown soldiers listening to heavy metal before they go out and wreak devastation. Like Pandora, maybe some day we’ll have KILL Radio.
Well, in a media saturated environment, the media itself is the background for the life of the people within it in a way that is almost directly equivalent to, say, the way nature was to someone in the 18th century. This suggests that art made in that environment will often necessarily use as a “ground” the other media that makes up the world of its creator. In this sense, a “remix” isn’t all that dissimilar from a landscape or still life as the “artificial” world can seem more “real” than the natural world to some as they have adapted themselves to the social order as it is. (This, I suggest, raises questions in and of itself as our mediated environmental is an “owned” one, so our experiences, in some sense, are no longer actually purely our own, but “rented”.)
I used to run quite a bit, and usually did it cross-country. It was for me a form of contemplation. I would get into a rhythm, listening to the beating of my heart and the natural sounds around me and just flow, thinking my thoughts or sometimes not thinking, just being in the day with my body.
I run and walk. I sometimes walk while listening to podcasts (news, etc.), and I get a lot of good information and ideas this way. On the other hand, when I run, I never use my ipod. While I do think about the information I’m hearing from podcast, the nature of my thinking is very different from my thinking when I’m running (and I’m almost always thinking about something). Most of the time, I’m drilling deeper into some ideas, as I’m trying to better understand them. In the process, I might get another thought that takes me in a different direction. I might think about my children and their future; work, my relationships and almost anything. Listening to podcasts is a rewarding time because I get new ideas and information, but I also need the type of thinking that goes on when I’m running.
The second thing about IPods and the way they are most often used is that the music stored is in discrete songs rather than whole albums.
This sort of atomizing of music also concerns me because l believe it might lower the tolerance for longer pieces of music and further condition people to instant gratification. Some works of art require a lot of space and aren’t instantly gratifying—the payoff comes much later. Think of symphonic music, 19th Century novels, movies over two hours. Is there going to be a place for such works in the future—or will these die out or only be experienced by a smaller and smaller number of people?
These works are often special in the way the pieces come together to fit the whole. For example, in a concept album, the individuals songs may have value, but the way they fit together to make an entire work is also an important part of the artistic worth. I fear these bigger and more intricate works won’t have a place in a world where people are raised on ipods, ipads, and other wireless technology. These technologies are really cool, but this would be a big loss, imo.
Well, in a media saturated environment, the media itself is the background for the life of the people within it in a way that is almost directly equivalent to, say, the way nature was to someone in the 18th century. This suggests that art made in that environment will often necessarily use as a “ground” the other media that makes up the world of its creator.
Oh, this is really interesting. (I’ll have to think about this more.)
And so does this relate to your comment about high art use silence as its base?
(Btw, your last post made me think of The Matrix.)
Isn’t the other side of this question which contemporary noise will be valued in the future?
For all we know none – the future would be silent and contemplative because noise of the past and contemporary noise won’t be valued.
Even Jack Handy will be forgotten…
^Yes, totally agree. You have reiterated my points admirably. This idea of instant gratification and short works of all kinds, and only that, repulses me. Sure, I love a three-minute Ramones song, but I also love a three-hour Wagner opera. There needs to be room for both. But I fear the mediated culture is trending toward the former at the expense of the latter.
“If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.”
By “contemporary noise,” do you mean the distractions from wireless technology, etc.?
I think there will be always some form of distraction; humans have a powerful craving for this. (Dang, Pascal has a quote about this, that I can’t recall right now.)
Hmm. Pascal. Wasn’t he a French film star from the thirties?
There needs to be room for both. But I fear the mediated culture is trending toward the former at the expense of the latter.
There does need to be room for the both. I should also say that the trend you speak of didn’t just start recently. It’s probably been happening since at least the mid-20th Century. I should also point out that I’m pretty impatient when it comes to art—and I attribute a lot of this to being raised on TV and top 40 radio. But if I’m impatient, I have to think it’s much worse for those who are raised on the internet and wireless technology.
Sure, the future is an unknown, we can only look at the present and project.
One of the things, I think, the sort of media saturation and art that comes form it suggests is that there is something of a sort of secondhand nature to the emotions under consideration in much of it as art is responding to the emotions at least partially created by someone else, and then perhaps referencing yet another layer beyond that and so on, so we are sort of conditioned to respond in a way which is based on multiple layers of response, removing the experience from a more “personal” or simple give/take of understanding. Art, of course, has always referenced other art, but the environmental base or cultural conditions now I think are different, and that effects both the creation and criticism of art as well as helping to shape the sort of snark and “irony” responses so common to the internet.
We not only experience time differently than those from other eras, just think of how frustrating something like a couple of extra minutes to boot a computer feels for example, but we also, I think, look towards different sorts of experiences in art that match our feeling for the world than we might have otherwise. Something like a ballet or opera no longer “feels” right to the experience many people seem to have now, What is asked of them is alien to their day to day living. When looking at movies, it is not sufficient to respond to what is onscreen alone, but to some knowledge of wider forces like the expectations of the genre which come from lives spent in consuming media. Movies, like the so-called CCC ones offer something of a different mode of experience, but we quickly become habituated to it and look for the same sort of layered response there. Fantasy and science fiction flourish as they can sort of “ape” a sort of dissonance associated with art by dint of the surface of the work being removed from the “now”, it is usually a limited or “naive” form of emotional response though as the dissonance it provides is only skin deep.
It is looking beneath the surface where some less mediated art finds its resonance, and to appreciate that, reflection, memory, and time are required. Do I mean to suggest by this that art today isn’t as meaningful as some of it may have been before? No, not exactly, I am just trying to suggest that the way we understand or appreciate it and where it is coming from has changed and that has had an effect on how we understand it and what art “means” in some ways.