All digital forms of media – from art to entertainment to raw information – have undergone radical changes in systems of production via the personal computer. Equally important to this change in systems of production, however, has been an attendant change in the systems of distribution for all forms of data. This transformation of distribution systems is restructuring the economics of digital media creation and ownership while presaging a reformation in the aesthetics of digital art and entertainment. These changes signify a global diversification in the production, distribution, and consumption of media. Accompanying this economic and aesthetic reformation is an expanding evolution and diversification in means of production for all media forms. The presently transpiring restructuring of the predominant media industries that had constrained the scope of art, entertainment, and information for most of the 20th century suggests the emergence of a “new media order”, a diverse and extensive world of created digital media with correspondingly distributed economies. An examination of the impact of these changes on the music industry can illustrate what is at stake for producers and consumers, and where things might be headed: individualized hyper-economies and an authentic manifestations of the borderless economy that is so often disingenuously espoused by classical transnational corporations. Because data doesn’t need a passport, this shift in means of production and distribution creates the possibility of a less privileged global economy.
- Jefferson Goolsby, Department of Art, University of Maine, Orono, U.S.A
Full text (PDF) p. 196-198