I think there is something to be said for meditation, reading, prayer, and writing as being praxis. Some folks are concerned with more doing and by doing they mean action and by action well, I am not exactly sure what they mean or what they think they mean. Perhaps they mean less thinking and talking as if that does not go anywhere. Perhaps when they think about an action they think about building a building or a car or an iron.
But the kind of building I have been interested in lately is the building up of one’s character, a pursuit of personhood essentially. And in that sense, though actions like volunteering at a food bank, for example, can enlighten and building something external can calibrate discipline, inner work dealing with meditation, reading, prayer, and writing seem all the more powerful in terms of processing who one is and what one really thinks and feels about the nature of existence and one’s self. And honestly, I do not think that is lofty. Quite the opposite. These are fundamentals. It is who we are that defines our lives, not what we do, not what we make. And in the end, we simply are.
Actions that are more oriented to constructing materiality are fine and in fact, I have a very high amount of respect for that. I use a host of physically constructed and designed structures and apparatuses on a daily basis and am happy that someone thoughtfully executed their existence. However, as an artist now who is exploring the idea of cognitive art there is something to be said for how we process the world around us and how that aspect is something that one can train in and exercise and ultimately grow from.
I feel like my ideas regarding art moving away from the idea and practice of an exhibition could make some folks afraid that they would lose their practice and I get that. I do not think that that practice will go away altogether. There will still be a place to exhibit artwork that was made to be exhibited and so forth. However, there is a much broader world at hand and it is unlocked so to speak and illuminated by how we approach it. Practices dealing with meditation, reading, prayer, and writing are ways in which to deal more directly with the inner building and development of ourselves. And they, in fact, enrich, I feel, what we end up doing in life and the actions that we carry out when appropriate. It can be a way of focusing though in its own right to deal in transformation of the immaterial just as much if not more as the material.
There is no picture for this kind of work but I feel that makes it all the more real.