-12. ETERNAL ART, TRANSITORY TECHNOLOGY
Technology suggests permanent change and improvement. Once a new technique is discovered and adopted, society does not attempt to revert to the former technique. The automobile displaced the horse; the electric light replaced silent films; and word processors are rapidly making typewriters obsolete. This forward march of technology is called progress. In the fine arts such progress does not exist. The skill of the artist rests upon knowledge and experience, just as the skill of the technician does. But the creative processes involved seem to be different. Today, for example, one can admire the design of a Roman chariot, but few people would ever want to depend on it as a regular means of transportation. By contrast, it is still possible to walk into the Vatican's Sistine Chapel and be astounded by the magnificence of Michelangelo's frescoes. These paintings have an excellence that will never become outmoded. A work of art, whether it is a painting by Titian or a concerto by Mozart, is not a stepping-stone to something else that will someday be considered better. It is not like the vacuum tube, which served its purpose well enough until the transistor was invented. Each artwork stands on its own — distinctive for all time. Even poor imitations cannot damage the goodness and integrity of the original.
We understand from the passage that Michelangelo's frescoes ...... .
were produced using the latest technology of the time
are hard to appreciate in this technological age
were a stepping-stone for him to produce better ones
will some day lose their quality and value due to corrosion
will not be discarded by the creation of similar works
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