013: Digitization of Traditional Practices

This week, we are talking about the digitization of traditional practices and in preparation, we watched this video from Vernelle Noel on wire bending and Carnival. I'm very interested in seeing what people have to say in class, since I struggled, based on the talk, to really conceptualize a difference between this and any other switch to digital technology, outside the contention that here it is necessary because otherwise young people are losing the traditional skill. That is, while the framing is slightly different, the iteration on techniques from hand-made to digital does not appear substantially different from the same movement in textiles, as we have previously seen, or even from hand-cut wood to CNC-made products.

The closest example of a move from traditional to digital with which I am familiar is in printing, particularly, in the making of image printing plates: the move from linoblocks or other engraving techniques to photopolymer plates.  Because the latter can be created from drawing programs, they require less baseline skill that more difficult engraving methods, but can result in colder lines than drawings bound to the materiality of their medium. But again, I think I would file this change under the general march of technology rather than the digitization of traditional practices. 

I hope there are more examples today that help me see an aspect in this that I may be missing.