Does an advance in technology mean an advance in Art?
Does it? Is the reason we have (mostly) gone digital because of anything but convenience (control, getting med frmt quality with 35mm, getting the grain of a 6X7 with 35mm, instant feedback, etc). My 2 best selling pictures were taken on a Canon A1 with a Vivitar 28-200 f3.5-6.3 lens of Fuji Superia 200, on a really crappy tripod I may add and with no polariser. They are regularly printed to 18X12".
My boss used to say that a pro can take a better picture with a disposable camera than a beginner with a top pro camera, because they understand light!
It's true though, vision is far more important to the pursuit of art than technology. People buy my shots from my film 35mm or Mamiya 645 days eventhough there is noticeable grain in the skies even on 8X10" prints where there is none on a 18X12 from my 10D. The technology is useless without the vision and the vision can be made using yesteryears technology if it is powerful enough. I'm sure all will agree that the art aspect of their fine art photographs is not a result of their machines!
You could argue that the digital era means that technology increases enables us to actualize our vision in the way we meant it to, but lets face it, if we were to have shot the same images on film then they would have been up for exhibition while we still tinker in PS. Digital technology in many many ways only serves to play catch up to the convenience that a film workflow offered pre the digital era and therefore cannot be said to be improving our art, just getting it back to where it was 10 years ago.
I'm not arguing that film is better than digital, just that the technological advances have not improved our art, just the conveniece of making it. As a wedding photographer I can very strongly put forward the point that convenience in the field of photography has, in some ways, only served to harm the 'art' put forward. Witness Uncle Bob with his digital rebel shooting weddings and then the B&G coming crying for help, it's not uncommon...