It excites me to think about where art can go now that I have identified, not only for myself but in a historical context as well, life as art itself. The shift of this assertion from many others that I have come across in my study is that it is not just everything which is art but rather the very core of what I will say is the nexus of the human being, life in general and all of physical and existential reality. This view also illuminates the case that we work on developing ourselves as we develop the world around us and vice versa. The development of the self is the development of the world and so forth. The key is that the development of art has evolved to a particular state as to blend in and be absorbed meaningfully into this general view of the progress or development of human life. This view radically shifts how we see art in life. It does away with the need for exhibiting as such and therefore for the traditional construct of galleries and museums. It instead leaves us engaged, each with our own art, a personal craft that mirrors the whole existence, what we often call the universe. By the term personal craft I not only refer to a method for making or constructing but also to the notion of a vehicle. For personal development, as the very stuff of art at its core, is also in a way a kind of traveling, a traveling across time, through time and in the end perhaps beyond time. The timelessness of art at its core may prove to be our very salvation.
I am brought to the idea of expression as I write here today and I am drawn very much to that notion which is terribly important and should truly never be forgotten. Expression draws forth and meaningfully articulates the sublimity, pain and beauty of all life has to offer and gets at what is core, the very core of the human experience. It is worth noting that perhaps the core is not even truly accessible and perhaps for good reason but for our intents and purposes as a manor of speaking this visualization helps us summon the type of thought feeling that we need to call upon in order to understand at both a gut and consciousness level what it is we are doing with our life. It could be very much that the realization that art is life itself may be so valuable an understanding in that it brings us into a reflection about just what it is we truly want in this life, for ourselves. What do we truly want? Some of it may be totally beyond our control and for that we must find a peace within ourselves that either gently sets aggression and angst down or alternatively finds a way to meaningfully transform it into a constructive project, most likely through the act of expression. I think we must call upon our better nature in these regards to help us to know when one will do over the other.
This brings me to the idea of the artistic attitude that I have begun to mention in other writings. Essentially the artistic attitude has us coming to understand the world and not only life itself but human life, our life as a meaningful component of a greater whole, a whole which for all intents and purposes may always in some identifiable and pertinent way may always remain just beyond our grasp, not only the grasp of our hand of course but of our mind as well and perhaps most importantly the imagination of our soul.
There is a gentle guiding in this that I feel is absolutely key to coming to understand art now and as such life practices which are in effect one in the same. I am going to continue to phrase and rephrase this new definition of art as it were because well I feel it is so very important to have it sink in that we are coming upon a brand new era of art and art making. In part what I have to share with you through these words, here in the beginning of a very fertile 2018 is that this may be a vision so to speak that I have that has been collected from many sources of my experience. And visions may or may not come to pass. But I truly feel that there is a truth to these words which will in fact help to guide a coming generation of artists ideologically because it is not a manifesto it is a deep listening to what has been percolating in the history and development of art. It is not about a movement or style. It is an entire paradigm shift of what art is and what art can be. To give this a little bit more context I want to briefly tap into the idea of manifesting things in your life with the assistance of a higher power or spirit.
I do not have any formulation in which to describe characteristically the notion of a higher power. I only wish to acknowledge through humbleness that powers great and small exist and are no less equal in value for their relative scale and that in this understanding of life, again which is an intersection between human life, life as a whole and all of physical and existential reality, we can come to know a way to authentically relate and have knowledge of ourselves. In this way, self-realization is a part of art. Self discovery and co-creation with, I guess in the end higher and lower powers is a process that comes naturally. I seek to champion our higher powers out of life experiences that I have had and respect for life itself and in a way all of existence. Some may not choose to do that. I feel we have to stand up for what we believe in and that this too is art practice. You will find I believe that as you go along with this seemingly rather open concept of what art is that it is actually rather exacting in its appraisal of what one’s core values are and how one wishes to go about exacting those in the world. Knowledge of the self is knowledge of the world and art practice is about developing familiarity with this symbiosis between the two and the many, many more.
I find that for myself, currently, writing is proving to be a very good way in which to delve into my own truths and also is a way to communicate those truths and share them. I think whenever you are able to tap into a personal truth that it will at some level resonate with others and that that resonation has potential to conjure up positive effects. I know that some of this may sound philosophical or even religious and in some sense it is if we are truly honest with ourselves but the main point is that it is above all things art. These developments of self have in a way always been possible and even enacted to a certain extent throughout the ages but it is my truth I have to share that what is happening in development of art after a historical end is a rebirth and merging the likes of which are truly amazing and going to completely revolutionize how we think about art and art making or perhaps more aptly stated art living.
We have so many options in life. We can do so much, so many different things in small and large ways with our lives. I have seen in my own life the power of mediation, visualization and as I have said many times before, conversation or what could be called correspondence. There is something magical that happens when we share something core and receive something that is likewise core. It does not always happen of course but there is always the potential for it to happen. The excellent part is that we do not have to go outside of ourselves thought is colors life tremendously to do so, to find that which is core. Meditation helps us connect with this core in a myriad of ways. The many, many themes of guided meditations that exist today attest to that. It really comes down to living your truth and having a liberation of the very spirit that you are. It is about not waiting any longer for your life to begin and taking up the reigns of your life, whatever your age and saying this is what I really truly want and I am going to take it for myself because I matter and I am worth it and I want it to actually happen in this life time.
That is what this idea of art as life is all about. It is a merging of what creativity has been doing in our life in the forms of advertisements, films, art exhibitions, music, posters, graphics and on and on and on. This art is one of a completely and utterly participatory nature. It is literally life itself and it does not necessarily have a name tag or an artist statement though it can. The truth I have to share is that we are co-creators. I am waking up to that in my own life. It is certainly about trust. Trusting yourself. That is perhaps the biggest revelation that I have been having and am having during the writing of this right now. I have to trust myself and wants and desires and really go for what I feel in my heart, not the blasé, blasé blah of autopilot living that it is so easy to fall into. And the worst part about that trip is that we do it to ourselves! We enslave ourselves to the dreams of others because well in my case I kept thinking I had to in order to make money, but somewhere not that deep inside actually I knew that I was giving up my liberty and not living up to my full potential in any stretch of the imagination.
Every time I thought about that or talked to someone about it they would say, fine, go make your life whatever you want to make it. I have found that that remark does not seem to accomplish much in that moment because even though intellectually it sound right at a gut level it always sounded like the person was telling me to go fly a kite. I think that that may come from others not wanting to acknowledge all the power and freedom that they themselves have. Freedom can be awe-inspiring but it can also be very, very scary. I see more and more as I go along that I have everything within me truly (and so do you) to do whatever it is I want to do in this life. And I guess that all those people that told me go ahead and make life whatever you want to make it were also sharing in some way that truth even if it did not seem to connect with me. I am writing all of this for you the reader as I am writing it for myself. If you need it take it. I am getting an enormous amount from formulating these thoughts. I can feel myself growing at fundamental levels deep, deep down inside as I write this and I hope that feeling for you as well, whether while reading this or during some other high-opportunity experience.
I know it may seem like a tangent to be talking all about personal development and the spirit and the universe when perhaps all you thought this writing was going to be about was art but these are the stuff of art, so very much. I myself am going through a kind of awakening the more I write about this because these are things that have been waiting to take off in my life for decades now. And just now in this writing I feel as though they are beginning to budge and are truly taking flight like they were intended in their creation. I feel liberated in the sharing of this truth with you the reader. I know that I have written quite a bit that tells of the death of the author and all of that is true but at the same time we still have an opportunity to read and as of yet you may find that you are becoming a writer more than anything else.
Some of these practices like exhibiting art work, writing and reading, music on stages all may transform but it will take time and I certainly do not want to see a world that does away with the purposes that these surface level activities are addressing. I think it may way down in the future that any of this actually takes place as a quantifiable change but I think what is important is how we think about things. And that in a way it all starts with thinking about things and feeling about things in a certain way that completely opens up the opportunity for epiphanies and revelations to take hold and shake us into life.
We are finding the truth in what we do now. We are unlocking the grand potential that has been latent in keeping art in galleries and museum or at the very least, galleries. This opens up an awe-inspiring amount of information and energy to all those who are interested and have their curiosity piqued in a way that has them ready for all that life has to offer, literally the stuff of dreams, the things you have only dared quietly dream for yourself in some sort of never, never land can actually come to life, to fruition once you begin to open up to the true power of life and all, all it has to offer. It is going to be an amazing adventure. Get ready. Let go and let God!