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PressPausePlay: On Creativity in the Digital Age

“The digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed creativity and talent of people in an unprecedented way, unleashing unlimited creative opportunites.

But does democratized culture mean better art, film, music and literature or is true talent instead flooded and drowned in the vast digital ocean of mass culture? Is it cultural democracy or mediocrity?”

Such is the question posited in PressPausePlay, a documentary by Swedish creative agency House of Radon.

The film is a riveting meditation on the challenges and opportunities facing creative people and industries in the relentlessly changing digital landscape. It features a wide array of interwoven interviews, narratives and viewpoints by people from across the creative spectrum, from music to film to design to publishing.

PressPausePlay from House of Radon on Vimeo.

This film really engaged me, leaving me feeling alternately intimidated, inspired, saddened and ultimately empowered. A must-see for any creative person forging their path in these uncertain times.

The entire movie is a rich tapestry of thought-provoking insights and opinions, below are a few quotes that stuck in my mind:

“Almost everybody I meet in the world of art, music, literature…creative expression, everybody’s equally excited and afraid. No one really knows where their next paycheck is coming from, but they’re really excited by their ability to create work and communicate directly with an audience.” – Moby

“My publisher said, ‘Great, we’d love to publish your book. [But] we can’t give it away for free, and it will be out in a year.’ So I decided . . . to post the e-book online, and the first day 3000 people downloaded it . . . then it was 6000 . . . and now it’s past 5 million. Just me, a laptop, and the internet.

“People say, well, ‘How do you make any money doing that?’ . . . an interesting thing happened to me. People started emailing me saying ‘I like this but I don’t want to read it on the screen.’ So we quickly self-published an edition . . . put it on Amazon . . . and it went to #5 on the bestseller list, and it got translated into all these languages. I made more money from the book I gave away, than the book I had sold. And the lesson there for me is not that this is a good way to make money, but that this changes everything– the industry is dead.” -Seth Godin

Seth Godin in PressPausePlay

“In our post-Industrial age, because of atomization, loneliness, the breakup of community, the way to somehow reify, or deify ourselves, is through the creative act . . . everyone thinks they have a novel in them, everyone thinks they can make a movie or write a song . . .that’s why everyone is buying camcorders and putting their stuff up on YouTube . . . It’s a reality they don’t like, but most people DON’T have talent…so for a serious young filmmaker these are very depressing times. When you leave everything to the crowd, when everything becomes democratized, where everything is determined by number of clicks, you’re by definition undermining the seriousness of the artistic endeavor.” – Andrew Keen

“We live in an incredibly attention-deficit culture…even if you see how the television is edited now…it’s not about a strong desire to consume art…and that’s what a creator is up against, that they have to sort of trick people into watching what they make” -Lena Dunham


You can learn more and download the full film at


Thanks to The New Pop for the heads up on this.


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