The beginnings of a new philosophy
I usually spend months between posts, however, I wanted to share some thoughts from my time at Arts Letters and Numbers. As stated in my last post, Liz and I worked on our drama/spoken word poetry piece, Like Air there. However, we were only an hour drive from Mass MOCA, so we made sure to spend a half day in North Adams.
Every showing had an impact on me. But, the one that may have changed my creative practice, was "Thumbs Up for the Mothership." I felt uncomfortable taking photos inside the room it was housed. Probably because the work spoke to me so directly. In particular, the work of Lonnie Holley grabbed me. I was all to happy to spend money that I should be saving, to purchase a book featuring his work before we left.
To be honest, I don't think what I learned was revolutionary to my artistic practice. Rather, going to a museum and seeing such diverse work, acted as a catalyst to ideas I've probably always been wrestling with. That said, philosophically, I've changed. But I'm not sure how that will impact my work.
In the corner, was a work called Vox Humana, on the wall beside it was this video:
After looking at Tonja Hollander's "are you really my friend," a work that involved travelling the world to photograph her Facebook friends; walking through the dreamscape of Nick Cave's UNTIL; and admiring the walls of Sol Lewitt it took this work and the accompanying video before it hit me -- I'm an artist.
That should have been obvious to me. I'm part of a multi/inter arts collective. But, it wasn't. I've always seen writing more craft than art. So much of literature is based off a limited series of plots, or themes. However, as I stepped into each collection, I didn't analyze things as an admirer. Instead, I was more interested in methodology and philosophy. I asked myself, "This is how this person did this, but how would I?" That's something new to me. I've never looked at art that way. I suspect, as I've improved as a writer, my mind has begun to open up to this new way of thinking.
By the time that I got to this work, and heard the philosophy of the work, and realized it was similar to my own, things became clearer. I particularly was shook to the bone when Lonnie explained his idea of destroying something to celebrate its existence -- powerful stuff.
I can't draw, however, that hasn't stopped me from using text and Photoshop, or experimenting with calligraphy. But, I've always seen my creations as work that I keep to myself. It's not what I do. I'm a writer. But in reality, it is something that I do. I have the same type of artistic mind as many of the artists at Mass MOCA. I just don't share my creations.
What does it mean? Eventually, I'm going to have to start sharing all of my work. How I write, or more importantly, the methodology of how I document my work is going to change. I need to figure out how I want to share my work. I'm not sure doing it online is the right medium. The tagline for this blog may need to change too. There's lots to think about.
Additionally, I recently signed a contract to edit and compile an anthology. Once the ink has dried, I'll start posting my thoughts on the project. Connected to that, I'm interviewing for an editorial internship at a well-respected press tomorrow. Wish me luck!