Will Physical Things be the New Thing?

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Is it coming? Will all our creative outlets merge into one handy device? What about the things that represent your literary leanings, your musical tastes, and all that you consider talismans of your creative life? Will they fully and completely go digital? If so, what about your basic human yen to have and to hold artifacts?

Our friend Ethan Diamond, of Bandcamp, a very cool site that connects musicians and music fans (both digitally and yes, even in analog terms), writes brilliantly about these matters and more as he unveils his new digital music “unlabel” BCWax.

Check out his recent blog post Music as Artifact: Introducing BCWax in which he poses some great questions, namely, how without books lining our shelves and record albums to thumb through will anyone be able to get a sense what’s important to us, as individuals, curators of own personal museums.

Ethan is bright, funny, right on, and by no means a Luddite. We’ll leave you with a bit of his writing on why books and albums – the physical objects themselves – are so deeply satisfying. It so perfectly captures how we feel that we can’t help but pass it on. And if you’re a fan of The Wire, well … you’ll see.

Here goes:

“Holding them can feel good, and a talented designer can arrange their atoms in all sorts of pleasing ways that are impossible to achieve with bits alone. Not that we should all erase our hard drives, chuck our routers out the window and replace our iTunes libraries with vinyl. But for the music and books that are really important to us, possessing our own physical versions of those works allows us to express who we are. And when those physical versions are well-made, when they are true artifacts, owning them becomes a source of joy.”

Thanks, Ethan. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

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One Comment

  1. You know what Eileen, I’d love my next band’s release to be available as a download or as a …. 40-page hard cover 5″ x 5″ book with a CD sleeve.

    Maybe Blurb can help …

      February 12, 2010 – 4:19 am   Permalink

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