published Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Film and panel at Hunter Museum in Chattanooga

Is the digital revolution something to fear, or to embrace?

This is the question raised by "PressPausePlay," a 2011 documentary from the House of Radon in Stockholm, Sweden.

"Touted as a film about hope, fear and digital culture," "PressPausePlay" features testimonies from artists, including performer Moby and writer/actress Lena Dunham.

On Thursday, the film will make its Chattanooga debut at the Hunter Museum of American Art.

Local arts organizer and poet Christian Collier was instrumental in bringing the movie to the city. Earlier this year, he said, a friend encouraged him to watch the movie, which he did. Begrudgingly.

"I figured I had better things to do than sit at my computer for 81 minutes to watch this thing," Collier said.

But after the first few minutes, he said, he was hooked.

"I felt so inspired, and I just wanted people to see it," he said.

He set out to spread the gospel of "PressPausePlay," speaking to people around Chattanooga and trying to encourage friends and colleagues to see it.

When he spoke to Adera Causey, curator of education at the Hunter Museum of American Art, she encouraged him to arrange a showing at the museum.

"The Hunter is really striving to be more of a cultural hub, where people can discuss what's next for the arts," said Katrina Craven, director of marketing.

So Collier reached out to the producers.

"I know you have no idea where Chattanooga, Tennessee is ..." he wrote.

They responded quickly and proceeded from there.

The premise of the film is to talk about the impact of the digital revolution -- whether it's making arts and culture better, or, as Craven put it, "drowning everybody in a sea of mediocre content."

Collier said: "For the past couple of years, I've found myself really taking notice of the shift of having to have an online presence."

He made reference to the experience of going to a record store as a kid. Now, almost all music can be acquired online. The film demonstrates the possibilities set forth by the digital age, as well, he said.

He has put together a panel, consisting of Isaac Duncan, a sculptor, Philip Lewis, a professor of digital arts at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Nate Hill, Chattanooga Public Library techonology director.

The goal of the panel is to discuss what the digital revolution means for artists working in Chattanooga.

"The film raises so many different points," Collier said. "Is the influx of digital culture and technology a good thing? I think that's something people are figuring out and there's not one real and true answer."

Contact Holly Leber at hleber@timesfreepress.com or (423)757-6391. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/hollyleber. Subscribe to her on Facebook at facebook.com/holly.j.leber.

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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