There was a time when, if you ran in certain creative circles, it was cool to be "underground." David Byrne, for example, remembers fondly the anonymity of his early years with the Talking Heads. “we felt comfortable trying out different things, songs that were quickly abandoned and stage wear that proved impractical,” he is quoted in an article in yesterday's New York Times. “That’s all hugely important (the songs part anyway) as it allowed us to explore, refine our identity and go down those musical dead ends without the embarrassment of public scrutiny.”
Today everyone posts everything online, whether or not it's been tested, whether or not it's considered "cool." In fact, there can be a backlash when someone chooses to remain aloof from the mainstream of the social media dominated culture. Now, it's considered snobbish.
No one denies the allure or the vast potential of the internet for artists (musicians, visual artists, everyone) who want to get their names out in the world. "Online exposure can make for an overnight viral sensation." But “it
can also destroy and eliminate that crucial period of anonymity,” again, according to Byrne. “The Internet giveth, and the Internet taketh away.”
The article goes on to describe a small but significant segment of the creative class who desire to remain underground, to experiment out of the public eye. Today, unlike the past, that means staying offline.
Check out: Sidestepping the Digital Demimonde." It's a good read. I'll post this to facebook now.