Saturday, July 24, 2010

Every Worker's Woes are Our Woes!

Via Playgoer, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has a feature on how bread-and-butter industry voice-over jobs are leaving for the global market, and it is straining the local theater scene:
"The market for industrial films and corporate videos is bad. Commercial work is way down. All the things that we generally do to cobble together a living has been affected, so it's harder to live the same middle-class dream as other Americans."
It's a common complaint from the rest of the labor market that globalization means increased competition as it becomes possible for anyone in the globe to do your job.

However, I also spotted this rather chilling Soundcheck debate about virtual orchestras. Subject line:
From Broadway theaters to opera houses and Hollywood production studios, digital orchestras are providing controversial alternatives to real-life musicians. The most recent example concerns the Broadway revival of West Side Story, which will soon lose half of its string section for a synthesizer.
The debate was about even parts artistic (the synthesizers don't sound as good! you're robbing them of the real orchestra experience!) and labor (musicians jobs shrink!).

My first thought, as I watched the video, was -- wait, why does this process still need people? Can't we build a robot to do the job of picking a box up, scanning the code, and putting it on another rack?

With things like the fauxharmonic (here's their pitch for how it saves you money), artists too can be cut back on in the name of efficiencies.

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