I would say that what I am about to speak about is the art of the future but honestly, I believe that it is available now in the present and in a way has always been with us. Essentially, my view is this (and yes I have said much within this vein so far but I feel that more is called for actually, again and again, to get the message through to people clearly and consistently) essentially art is no longer primarily about making anything at all. I am coming to you with this conception from within the artistic canon of the West that has been held up by museums and galleries throughout the United States, Europe and beyond.
Art is no longer about making things. Now I know that art always becomes this and that and another thing. And it is defined in as many ways as there are languages but all of that can be put to rest for now. The conception I have for you in this regard is that art is the craft of life. In that conception that I have stated many times over, we are all artists, we are all art, everything is, in fact, art and in this way, personhood becomes a primary role of what we do.
I have just begun to talk with some of my artist friends about this and they seem very, very threatened by this conception. Artists have to exhibit they say. I disagree. In fact exhibiting becomes completely ancillary to the real work at hand, an inner work of developing conceptions of ourselves, conceptions that we live with, that we embody and share with others. It is about self-creation, self-recreation, and co-creating with all of the many powers that be.
It has been a long, strenuous journey to come to this conception but suffice it to say, I gave up my material work to expose the inner work that was at the center of it all. And precisely at the center of it all is where I see this work being done now. I can see how as much as one may say it is precisely the idea of discarding that I practiced that I am so connected to and that I think everyone must do it. In a way, that is sort of true, because I feel I learned a truth, in the process, about being human and what is really at stake in life.
I went through a terrible depression and breakdown and on the other side of that I had to change to survive and I saw just how fragile my past conceptions of life really were and how at the heart of it all, art was still with me, but as the very air that I breathed rather than celluloid or paint or marble or pixels. All of those are great, do not get me wrong. I still enjoy movies very much and do not want to see them go away. They move me. I find them valuable. I, of course, as I hope is clear, have been incredibly moved from artworks that have been exhibited but I am equally inspired to follow the train that has evolved I feel in the Western canon that has brought us through movements like relational aesthetics and social practice to a time when life itself is truly THE work of art.
Living, itself, is the work to do now I feel, truly. We can learn to train our powers that we used to use on exhibitions towards living our dreams fully. If our dream happens to be making things to be exhibited so be it. I think it is important to state however that life itself is not an exhibition. We share a ton, especially through social media now but even that is not exhibition really. You can comment on those instances and messages directly and engage with the material in a way that you cannot in a gallery or museum. Person to person interactions are still the ultimate I think in this way.
I really do think that artists have to start to release this idea of an exhibition. It is outdated, outmoded. We are called, I feel, to make life now. Truly. We have to be open to real change. The change is real.