“Our Adherence to Following the Herd”
Written by and Photography by Rick Trottier – RJT Images
The Human Animal is a social creature, adopting and adapting the affectations it sees in its brethren during day to day interactions. The most creative or engaging ideas/inventions of individuals tend to be embraced rapidly by increasing numbers of individuals, leading to a purely human behavior known as “the trend”. In and of themselves, trends are harmless. At times they can lead to marvelous changes in the human condition. When early civilizations began mixing tin and copper 5000 years ago in an effort to create more efficient and durable metals, the Bronze Age began. Cultures jumped on board this technological trend, transforming landscapes, tool usage and design and ultimately revolutionizing human development. Many other scientific and creative trends have reshaped Man’s Destiny here on Earth, leading to all manner of benefit and progress. But trends have a dark side too, as society embraces an idea that has seeming value, but can lead to a variety of ills. In the 16th Century, Spanish traders introduced tobacco, brought from the Americas, to Europe and before long all the European trading powers were dealing in Nicotiana Rustica and spreading its influence around the globe. In the beginning, tobacco was praised for sweetening the foul air of dwellings, keeping away flying insects and bestowing a pleasant feeling to the soul. But as the centuries passed and this trend intensified, it led to generations of health problems that we still are struggling to address as a species. Like almost all aspects of human behavior, there are positive and negative sides to our tendency to jump on board trends.
In the world of art, music and other creative pursuits, trends also show the two faces of Janus. Trends can dramatically redirect the course of thinking and expression in art, taking society in an entirely different direction and paving the way for new pathways unimagined. For example, the Impressionist Movement of the 19th century yanked the Art World out of its complacent tendency towards Realism or idealized realism in the form of Romanticism. The school of thought that became the Impressionists revolutionized not only painting and sculpture, but writers, musicians and even Ethicists reconsidered how to deliver the message they wished to convey and the voice they wanted to use, restructuring the philosophical tenets of how any creative individual would synthesize their art. And while many people would jump on the Impressionistic Bandwagon, leading to a dilution of the trend after several decades, those who were energized by the Movement would take it down new roads leading to Expressionism, Modernism and the Post-Modern Era, keeping art and other creative endeavors on the cutting edge of experience. Such can be the positive outcome of an enormously popular trend.
You can read more of this article in our September 2016 issue of Modelsmania