I'm not particularly relevant to photography anymore but I take consolation in knowing that no one else is either. Have a look at this very powerful, very thoughtful video about the changing nature of popular art and tell me what you think. http://vimeo.com/34608191
It's called PressPausePlay and it was produced by House of Radon, a creative agency in Sweden. I happen to agree with nearly everything in the video but I am especially interested in the idea that we are in a "crisis of democratized culture" that could lead to a new, creative "dark ages."
While it's true that more people than ever before have access to the tools to automatically create art what it's given rise to is a tsunami of mediocre work the sheer volume and noise of which hides the very few truly talented artists. It's not enough to "up one's game" unless the intended audiences for your work are savvy at the rigors of data mining and are hell bent on finding shining needles in vast, oceanic haystacks. One of the interviewees in the piece states, in a matter of fact way that, "most people don't have talent." But because of the outpouring of work in every genre "People start to become comfortable with mediocrity." At some point we lose our ability to discriminate between genius and hollow imitation.
These seem to be almost universal beliefs among both artists and critics. Don't argue with me until you've watched the video. It's very well made and I think it's worth your time....