COVID-19 and the State of Media Arts

For years you have dreamt of this moment. Obsessively monitoring your inner voice who’s telling you to keep pushing for that goal no matter how many times you’ve worked for free or were paid in the coveted “exposures” currency. You’ll soon be doing what you love and making a living doing it. Recently you landed in a position that’ll actually get you closer to financial stability, (and let’s be real, mental stability as well). You have consolation that you were not wrong to follow your dream, you have that proof now.

Or so you thought. Now the world is faced with the deadly covid-19 virus that threatens to collapse the very society that has come to depend on the skills you have honed and nurtured. What is a media artist to do in this situation? If you’re like me, you are also racked with a sense of urgency to do something helpful, something that will utilize your skills and redeem your passions. You start questioning whether you should have focused more on the STEM fields. Maybe you already thought about that during the early struggles. The point I am trying to make is that these questions are not exclusive to you or me. Or media artists for that matter. We are now in a time where our focus needs to be re-evaluated as a society to ensure that our efforts are producing valuable results. This is the perfect moment to make sure our work matters.

As a media artist that has primarily specialized in digital video production and live webcasting, this covid-19 pandemic does not seem to bode well for that area of expertise. At first glance it seems that social distancing might prevent us from being able to do this for a while. Is this actually true though? In the traditional sense of in-person production, it probably is true, but from what I’ve seen, all of my favorite daily shows are continuing to be produced, albeit from home studios. So as creatives, we will be creative. And we will overcome the physical obstacles by utilizing the technology we have and continue to develop better solutions.

Outside of regular video production, podcasting seems to be taking off in these times, and as an effective conduit for information, could serve to be a fantastic tool during lock down. Strangely enough with all of this downtime and a stronger-than-ever interest in new content to consume, it could be a perfect time to get your podcast going, and you could serve an extra purpose by educating people in some way. Just don’t spread bullshit, like some people do. Know your facts, cite your sources and admit and retract when you get it wrong. 

In the great, grand scheme of things, the direct effects of covid-19 will pass. I have to tell myself that, and we all really do. But as media artists we have a gift to spread happiness, education, and positive messages into the world through video, image, and sound. We are not obsolete and may now be more important than ever if we can collectively come through and prove our worth into the new decade. Not to mention a completely different society once we have recovered from this pandemic. The state of media arts is absolutely shaken, but not at all going to go away.

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