As I stated in my last post, I need to read some more on Joseph Beuys or not. I mean I do want to and plan to do just that, particularly his social sculpture idea. But there is a point as well where I have been developing this notion away from his thought. It might have been inspired by his work as I said through my aunt but in the meantime, I have really begun to value and the idea that all people are artists and that all activities in life are expressions of art.
So the question is what do I do now? I could just drop it all but that does not seem the way to go for me. I do believe that there is a spiritual potential to art. I see it in my own life. Art helps me think about life. It helps give me a context for life. I know that some folks may say well you are an artist that’s why you think that everyone is an artist. And I get that. But I honestly think there is creative genius in all of us and that from the mundane to the miraculous what we do in life is art.
It took awhile for art and life in the Western canon to meet each other but I just continue to get that sense in so many artists over the past hundred years. Of course, new technologies come out as I have stated in other writings. There are things like drones now, the internet, virtual reality, robotics, artificial intelligence, apps and the list goes on and on. And of course, there are ways to pick those tools up, those mediums and make some work that still is intended to be shown in a gallery or museum. I just feel that there is a purpose to evolving or developing through (meaning past or beyond) the idea of an exhibition. This idea of art being the craft of life was one reason for that but also as I have stated the idea of exchange over exhibition is what after all art world members have been espousing. Participation has been touted. I guess I just see a whole lot of untrod ground in that regard and it just makes so much sense to explore that.
I have to read more Beuys and others I am sure to get a sense of what has been done and what the ramifications of it were. But in all my reading, and I read quite a lot really, few if any have been saying actual life practice, the everyday away from galleries and museums is art. Sometimes I just think we as people are so used to the exhibition paradigm that we begin at the very core to think there is no other way, that whatever we choose to do, whatever mediums we pick, that we must eventually exhibit our art. When in truth we could have it unfold in a mutually engaging way as a part of our life flow.
That seems to be key. The idea of meditation throughout the entire day, influencing what we do and say and think to get a better sense of ourselves, to have ourselves more present in all that we do. Meditation is a communing with ourselves in large part also with life’s nature. Even if what I have been saying is what Joseph Beuys was saying in the 1970’s, forty or fifty years ago that does not mean that it is not still valid and valuable and even relevant. Wow, I do see how that could be an argument for painting and sculpture.
It’s tough you know, you want to progress. You want to take things further.
There is a lot more to think about. I have just been wanting more experimental works of art and more than that ways of thinking about the whole endeavor of art (not only to see those but to be a part of their conception and undertaking). It is hard to keep up with the current events of the art world let alone the world itself but I do think it is a valuable effort. Perhaps I need to lighten up about how current a practice needs to be in order to be something that can add to the conversation. I mean we all have obligations and things that pop up that deter us from always getting completely up-to-date. And honestly, it is probably not healthy to pursue newness just for newness’s sake. There has to be an underlying inspiration to grow as an individual and as a society. I think that is important.
I still think that we can change the way we do things by exchanging, participating and engaging more instead of exhibiting which means that galleries and museums if they are to continue to be relevant, would need to begin to function much differently. Or maybe just new types of organizations could pop up that put an emphasis on exchange. I do have to say that it was very cool to see that term dialogical art and how that related to my conception of conversation as a model for where art could be headed.
I really feel like I need to get talking with folks about these ideas. I am getting a ton out of watching a project called The Art of the MOOC that is addressing many current themes in art and that is incredible. I wish there was more of that going on in my community. Maybe it is and I just do not know about it but I am looking for more of a dialogue where everyone is talking together like in a roundtable about where contemporary art is now and where it is heading. I think that should be done, among artists, certainly not just arts professional such as administrators and so forth. I have tried to make art meet-ups in the past and had very low turn out. I just see it as being so essential, a dialogue, a conversation where we can talk with one another about where art is at for us and for each other and the world at large. You know at no time does one have to feel like they have to operate in the midsts of current ideas and practices. We are free to do what we want.