Saturday, 26 December 2009

Late in the year thoughts...

I make art to explore my subject, which is high resolution image making - or, after several years of looking at the subject area, where everyone is now experiencing something of the high resolution form, I feel that I should now just refer to the area as simply, image making.

Yes there is a high form and a low form of high resolution and very much of what people are experiencing is to my mind very, very low. But then I’ve had the luxury of circumstance to experience many levels of resolution. Like Blake.

Art like everything else turns to dust in time. So, if that’s the case why do it, if your rationale was to make something that was about connecting to the eternal? That was after all my rationale as opposed to having a project that was about shape, form, structure - all that old, old stuff. I certainly have had no interest in recent yet profitable exploits of the artist/charlatan state where the kings new clothes are worn de rigueur - and with pride. Always by very very stupid people with everyone else wondering what the fuck it is all about. Well I’m here to tell you it’s about nothing - nothing at all.

I’ve come to the point (once again) where I’m standing looking up at the cosmos and thinking about my own existence. There it is and here I am. When I’m absorbed in looking at it then there’s no need to do anything - when I come to the end of my looking then there’s a need to sustain my self, food, heat, light, exchange with others and making marks which speak about the absorption I’d previously experienced whilst contemplating the immensity that we are placed within.

Why reprise that - why not just go stare at it again? For one I don’t just want to repeat myself because in that repetition are the seeds of hedonism - self-pleasuring. So I realise that a return to that contemplation can only happen once again when I’ve been refreshed or remade or changed sufficiently for that experience to once again mean something - all of which can come from sharing the experience. In that sharing comes further enlightening moments as once articulates what it was that transfixed one in the first place.


That’s a word that refers to the crucifying of the human spirt on the cross of matter. Yet actively contemplating the infinite relieves that state - and sharing that relief propagates renewing the self. It’s a circle - but then most of existence as experience, from the human point of view, is a series of circular movements and wisdom tries to speak about that - ‘there is a time for hope, there is a time for grief, everything has its time’ - say the psalms.

Art has been commodified by a value system that has fetishised commodities and so art itself within the limited and local zeitgeist has also been commodified. But we know the earth is in some kind of trouble and so we need to make art that relates to this condition. I’m not proposing a lot of eco art that will be just as local as the prior form, - rather a making of art that speaks of the eternal, right here, right now. People have found that they want to express themselves as being alive in an important way - ordinary people have extraordinary selves inside them and commodification will no longer be helpful in defining the extraordinariness of that self.

So to me it seems that we the artists must speak to that need for articulation in the ordinary person and so we must speak of the eternal - the most difficult of subjects to be clear about - and for all of those reading this with lack of understanding at this point someone else once said - if you’ve got the ears you’ll understand the message.

The Italians say: Few are called, but many answer.

Though the commodification of the world eventually implies that anyone can make ‘art’, by reducing what art is to a commodity, therefore it’s re-produceable easily- the truth is only a few can make worthwhile art and at a time when everyone is answering that call, it’ll take some time to be clear about what is good art and what is bad art. But then again one can simply see what’s there with intuitive eyes and mind and respond to the work knowing that it’s good if it speaks of the eternal and frankly, no-good if it speaks of anything less.