Tuesday, August 29, 2006

re: Piccinini & ephemera 

Andy Goldsworthy's Leaves with Hole

hehe, Conrad...

i don’t exactly or completely disagree with you.* i just think there are other aspects to consider.

aside: i believe Piccinini was speaking of material created, not an experience of art (see her essay, In Another Life). though i doubt it matters for this conversation.

what you had was an experience of art with Michelle Strader. like Buddhist sand paintings, ephemera artists like Andy Goldsworthy, ikebana, ancient illustrators/writers working on wax tablets, etc. maybe instead of being angry you could appreciate the fact that you had the privilege of experiencing something incredibly unique.

for some artists, it’s process-based more than it's about permanence - and the intent of the process may vary. who’s to dictate that? for myself, personal investigation and growth is often what compels me. the creative act allows me to intuitively organize or work through my internal junk, aiming toward Art. creating is always about symbols/representation, even in conceptual 'randomness," and it's often ritualistic in that it allows a simultaneous conscious & pre/sub-conscious, constructive tango. and a carefully wrought product works well as instant gratification/reward for difficult internal work, whether it’s around for five minutes or centuries or if there’s a witness.

aside: maybe the act of creation is particularly divine, perhaps because of this very function or because it implies an eternal moment of experience.

i realize of course that not all artists have the same intent & i don’t believe they should. however, i could argue that the success of some of the most effective (lasting? impactive?) works that i’ve encountered hinge on this very creative process.

that’s not to say that i believe that it’s not important for artists/writers to show or record some of their work. and it’s critical that we all have access to art for many reasons. but to say that all creative work should remain tangible is unsympathetic if not unreasonable. the artist first has the responsibility to sustain himself if not to improve.

some argue that periodic erasure allows an artist to separate from the confines of old habits and more readily advance in their craft. there have been times when i’ve needed to destroy my work and i’m not alone in that. for me, it’s served to release me from inhibitive perspectives and the only way for me to do that was in the ritualistic act of destruction/rebirth.

and there’s the other argument of General Public Over Stimulation and Clutter – that we could all stand more discernment with what we produce. some really respond to and respect prolificacy, despite the questionable quality or [non-]effect. i often think of Guido Anselmi’s (Mastroianni) line in Fellini’s 81/2:

“The world abounds with superfluity, why add disorder to disorder? ... It's better to destroy than to create what's unessential. Besides, what's clear enough, valuable enough, to deserve to survive? ... We're already suffocated by words, by sounds and images that have no reason to exist, that emerge from the void and return to the void. Any man worthy to be called an artist should swear an oath: dedication to silence.”


*i’d like to discuss more of your point soon, and piccinini’s point, and other points.

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