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A thought before bedtime
Would we have modern art without the invention of the camera? Or was the rise of impressionism, cubism, dadaism, etc an inevitability?

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Well, considering that there was a long-standing trope in the art world that said that exactitude of representation of the world was good, I think that it was inevitable that at some point there would be a backlash against that. Cameras, though, sped the affair up. The photographic representation of the world allowed artists to go wilder, faster, and deeper in the other direction as it changed the purpose of visual art. Even with early cameras, fidelity of representation was pretty high, so once it became clear that cameras were going to get better, the question "if visual art is surpassed as 'accurate literal representation of the world,' then what is its purpose?" opened up. I don't think the answer to that question is really settled yet - and maybe shouldn't be! Art has taken on some very interesting forms since.

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