Have you ever heard of the phrase “the medium is the message,” coined by Marshall McLuhan back in the 1960s when TV was the shiny new medium being analyzed? Practically 40 years later, a LOT has changed when it comes to technology and media in particular, but some aspects, including McLuhan's theory, are still as applicable as ever.
Before I go headlong into an academic diatribe on this and lose you, I'd like to quickly level the playing field by looping in my topic at hand: the interweaving of fashion, art, and blogging, and the significance of looking at it through this lens.
Digital media, and blogs in particular, are just as attention-grabbing and filled with possibility as the TV was in McLuhan's time, and it is altering the way in which we read, think, and create, just like the revolutionary mediums of yore, such as the TV, radio, and the photograph have in the past.
Blogging can certainly be tied to a particular aspect of culture, a time, and a place, and we won't really have a solid grasp and understanding of this, until we are looking at it retrospectively. The flow of fashion to art, art to fashion, and then moving into the digital space, namely via blogs, is certainly linked, but figuring out the solid ground there lies in thinking about this “the medium is the message” theory.
Within this, it examines, of course, the content of the particular medium, but the medium in itself is the crucial focal point of the analysis, and how information (and visuals) delivered through this chosen medium holds significance.
To put it in simpler terms, if we decide to examine the clout of blogs in relation to fashion and art, let's look at a few of the aspects that are incorporated into them:
Do bloggers' fashion and style convey influence to the viewer(s)?
Are beautiful images considered art?
Is good writing considered art?
I would say yes to all three, so what remains is the contemplation of how much the medium, in this case, the blog, might be eventually held in high esteem in society to be treated along the same lines as art, fashion, and other established mediums that have come to be embedded into our culture. As those of you in the community know, blogs are very much a portfolio of our work, not unlike a fashion designer or artist's body of work, and although the barriers to entry may not be too challenging (i..e creating a blog on a free platform), standing out in a sea of blog certainly is. A lot of elements have to come to together for a blog to resonate with an audience, and some certainly do, boasting millions of readers world wide, and apparently making six-figure salaries as reported in WWD last week.
Blogs can possess incredibly beautiful imagery, talented writers, creative formats and original modes of engagement, and certainly, in my book, rising to share the stage of influence with designers and artists. It certainly is a new world of DIY entrepreneurship, and bloggers are exceptional at making the puzzle pieces fit together, giving evidence toward the concept that the medium as the message is certainly worth examining.
I think we can all agree that society engages with the worlds of art, and fashion quite easily, but what about bestowing the same authority for the creativity and originality found on a blog?
Although a blog's content may not necessarily contain the same permanence that art and fashion share, the bigger picture of the medium of digital publishing certain does.
What do you think? What cross over do you see in the worlds of fashion, art, and blogging?
[Image credit: All the Pretty Birds]