anonymousblack: (such a square)
initially posted at my wordpress.



1.
It's not clear. You listen and listen. Establish a ritual, a gradual coming into form, a way for the process to manifest. Give the process space. A room, let it choose the curtains, paint jewel tones on the walls, provide it with sufficient shelving for the ever-growing collection of resources it travels with.

Remember the process needs a home and it is not in your best interests to shake it awake at night screaming NOW, DAMNIT, NOW. That will create an antagonistic relationship between you and process. Eventually you'll reach a point where it will only make suggestions when you have something you really ought to be minding on the stove. That's not to say that food preparation--or driving--or bathing--or assembling a jigsaw puzzle--can't all be places where fleshy, sustaining inspiration comes to you, because obviously they all are, every one--but as an artist, it is equally important to have a concept surface when you can immediately offer it studio time and not solely when you're on the bathroom floor clutching at your abdomen, reacting to the idea simply as: Now? Really? Now you come to me? Couldn't you have come to me before i ate that?

Too often, I think, I just plunge in and expect something to happen. I haven't straightened my work space, I haven't called the quarters, I haven't purified the space with sage and called the loving ones forth with sweetgrass. Too often, in fact, I think of that loving one as a punishing dark lord, one who cannot be called upon, one who cannot be encouraged into the effort but instead only visits as a torment: a half hour into a ten hour shift, maybe, or when I have six articles worth of automotive injury work due by end of day. I don't believe it's that way, really: but you need to make the effort. Light a candle. Warm yourself up with a reading, a ritual, a few pages in the journal. start a process, respect it as a process. The work will come in time.


2.
Oftentimes i start with a phrase. I'll cast out a net and see what's in the atmosphere. What are today's colors, what it its emotional state. Words will click together sometimes, will make a shape, will curl up in a sudden continuum, like filings around a strong magnet. A phrase pops into my head, like "It's not clear," like "she whispers into the stillness," like "so let us say: draw back the curtain." and i'll seed the rest of an entry from it. Go on, do go on. Keep going. The edges dark and traced, the center white and blinding. How line emulates darkness. The intensity of activity needed to convey emptiness in visual art when emptiness is, by it's very nature, the natural state of unaltered material, see:





Re-establish a relationship with concept. With feeling for the solid edges of something down in the indistinctive haze. Put words together, create something simply because an image, an atmosphere, a phrase haunts you. Poetry is not fed by intellectual analysis. I must not be so terrified of seeming ignorant, unschooled, or naive, especially not in my first draft. React strongly to what others see as mundane, this is what teenagers do with their music, this is what an artist does in a body of work: they take what others see as mundane or what others do not see at all and they persuade us into that reaction ourselves. Well, i came here, so why am i here?


3.
Look at me becomes look at this becomes look, damnit, or you'll never see. Mature art takes the artist's inherent and necessary narcissism and transforms it into something that society needs.

Look at it this way: eternity does not care that you have a new boyfriend. It does not care about your latest purchase, your new car, about what you are eating for dinner. Your social connections–the people who know you–might be intrigued, envious, or annoyed. Painfully, eternity–like larger society–is indifferent. Contrary to whatever illusions we feed ourselves in social networks, the endless majority of strangers in the world don’t care one whit that you just did yoga or spent a lot of money on a new video game system or are having vegan pot pie for dinner. Because our social networks provide us with several hundred ‘like’ clicks within the hour, we can continue to exist in our illusion that everything we express about ourselves Matters To Everyone Who Sees It, that we can ramble on as pointlessly as we do when we’re tired and drunk and someone, somewhere, will validate that as Self Expression.

The danger of social networks for artist is simply that it gives us an easy audience. Wherever we are, we have that audience, and therefore, we do not need to cultivate our aptitudes and potential beyond those initial demonstrations of capacity.

If someone with a critical eye should approach and press you beyond “this is amazing,” we have enough other followers to drop them at the first suggestion of “but.” And really, what’s so horrible about that ‘but?’ But it needs work. But perhaps we haven’t tumbled out from between our mother’s legs as a fully developed master of our chosen medium. The ‘but’ of a compliment may provide us with a crucial tool for developing authority, not the least of which could be learning to accept that a few red marks now and again won’t invalidate you as an artist.

Neither will growth-inspiring observations such as:

  • Perhaps you are not yet demonstrating why your audience can connect with this image.
  • Perhaps you have not struck a resonant cord for people who do not know you personally.
  • Perhaps this piece is tedious, or bland, or way too derivative.
  • Perhaps you're showing something that reveals you don't have a very unique, educated or compassionate perspective regarding the subject matter.
  • Perhaps you aren't experienced enough to have a sense of scale, to choose a subject that other people can connect with.
  • Perhaps this work, of which you are currently so proud, will ultimately only serve you in its lesson-providing mistakes.

    We, the all of us, want to believe we are original, talented, sexy, beautiful, smart, informed, open minded, excited to learn, able to endure pain; we want to see ourselves as having survived something, having been useful in spite of our troubles, we want our troubles to amount to something. Nobody wants to be a whiny, ignorant, privileged know-it-all whose primary function in the company of others is to serve their tedious, uninspired, and predictable self-interest.

    We want to be artists! We want to be altruists! We want to understand! And yet, as we get older, we deal with all of the terrible qualities, taking a number of them on ourselves, at least for a time. We whine. We’re uninspired. We’re naive. Instead of ‘look at this’, we get stuck on ‘look at me.’ And a blossoming artist, feeding themselves entirely on social networks, can skip the process of coming to terms with relevancy; just stay safe in that gated psychic nursery of easy security – the press of one button silences anyone who might make us feel less than miraculous, anyone who might remind us that our process still has a lot of unfolding to do.

    Used to be we’d go to gallery showings or read contemporary masters to scare the shit out of ourselves, to make us understand the larger difficulties of relevancy, to make us realize “I will never be this good.” Only then, humbled by the limitless greatness of others, would we start listening to the lessons, would we stop rolling our eyes at an instructor’s challenging attention. Now, surrounded by dozens mediocre and worse, an artist can comfort themselves regarding their skill in comparison. It’s easy to be devastatingly gifted amongst your Facebook friends, especially when a large number of them might want to sleep with you. The reality of it is once you step out of that bubble you might discover yourself as infinitely less engaging in a universal sense. Total strangers don’t see the reason why they should turn from their own Facebook to look at your work.

    It is not clear

    You listen and listen
  • anonymousblack: ([tarkovskiy] glass)
    most of the humor is derived from the chasm that exists between the general public's understanding of how the situation has always worked versus the bewildering reality of how the situation is now

    you have people expecting a certain standard
    people expecting to have their every half-hearted desire, every fleeting whim treated as if it is a life or death necessity

    and instead

    no one has answers
    no one meets you in the eye

    look
    the cupboard is bare


    doors are locked
    bottles are empty
    and leave no drop for me
    there's no kick to this cigarette
    get me out of this joint

    it's just as it was before
    before demand
    before supply
    before abundance, surplus, clearance, waste
    the back dock jammed with what no one had a use for
    with what they won't realize they needed until it is long gone
    or they won't
    sometimes they don't
    the rain pours out the sight

    empty swallows
    hard empty swallows

    another way to pass the time


    another way to piss the time


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