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8/10
"PressPausePlay": a topical and thought provoking look at how technology impacts art
19 October 2016
"PressPausePlay" is worth the watch. Specifically because technology is complicating the creative endeavour.

I recently read about how concert tickets are becoming increasingly expensive because artists aren't making enough off record sales. I know for sure that online streaming services, for a small fee per month, are putting me in touch with existing and new music artists, but am I a fan? This is something raised by one of the interviewees in "PressPausePlay", who says that live concerts require a music listener's commitment - they have to leave the comfort of their home, and the endless playlist on the computer, to experience an event where anything can happen; where the artist may not sound as they do on the recording.

"PressPausePlay" also touches on how creative technologies have become cheaper, allowing anyone the means to be creative. One interviewee shares a great analogy: were we to develop tiny self-replicating machines, unchecked - at some point, the world would be inundated with grey goo.

After watching this documentary, three things stand out for me: 1. it is good that the means of producing something artistic is now in more hands, but 2. it is becoming more difficult for the consumer to not be overwhelmed by the volumes of creative material out there, and 3. one needs to guard against the audience becoming the artist.

What I like about PressPausePlay is that it draws opinions from people in different creative industries, and that it talks about both technological innovation as a phenomenon and how the artist engages with new technology in his or her own way. I enjoyed Ólafur Arnalds' journey in the documentary.

Overall, the production value is impressive. PressPausePlay is beautifully shot, and I enjoyed the montages that punctuate some sequences. I liked how they used sounds of performances in the cut. Most importantly, it made me think about how I practise my craft in a time where just about anyone can make their own movie.
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