Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Commit to Making a Masterpiece Every Time

Nobody cares.  Paint on anything.  Turn anything into sculpture.  Record everything.  Do anything.  Mix oil and acrylic.  Mix acrylic and poop.  All art has one of two destinies -- the museum or the dumpster.  You can imagine the pie chart for that stat; its something like Pac-Man with his lips only slightly and seductively parted, on what would be his back, the yellow part representing the percentage of art that is dumpster bound.  Paint over the old shit, cannibalize the materials.  There is not much more liberatingly sobering than to look at was once hot with the aura of art and realize it has been reverted back to virgin potentiality again -- wood, canvas, what have you -- MATERIALS -- materials you don't have to buy. Know this.  Let the cancer of practicality grow in your brain.  You have nothing to lose.  You are an artist. 

But there is more.  Since you have nothing to lose you should maximize your gains and with each dumpster-destined piece EMBRACE THE DELUSION of your greatness as a mediator of culture and COMMIT TO MAKING A MASTERPIECE EVERY TIME.  Absurd?  Yes.  As is the entire endeavor of art making (and life itself, according to the existentialists).  Yes it's all experimentation, its all a process, one's greatest work is always ahead of them -- these practical, logical metaphors will never leave the reptilian part of your brain where all those practical things live.  But why apply a practical method to an absurd endeavor? Lead with the front of your brain and COMMIT TO MAKING A MASTERPIECE EVERY TIME.  

It's crazy, I know.  I tell my students its better to go too far than not go far enough; isn't it an indicator of intelligence to be able to hold and understand two contradictory thoughts in one's head at a time?  It is an impossible goal, an ideal, neo-platonic nonsense.  But like world peace, true originality or communism, it is a Sisyphusean task worth pointing towards, maximized only by the absurd delusion of it accomplishment.  Are not all works of art FAILED ATTEMPTS AT THE IMPOSSIBLE?  We are charged with the task of making poetry manifest -- of trying to hold the light of the moon between our fingers -- an impossible task whose attempts are left behind as telling documents of creation, frustration, exhaustion, contemplation and action.  

So that's what I think.  Right now, anyways.  First blog post ever.  There's no way I can be right about all of that.  What do you think?


1 comment:

material/power said...

AWESOME!! i gave this assignment to my students last year! next time i will attach your comments! thanks man!!