Monday, December 9, 2013
Is art still possible?
Fascinating reflections on the role of the artist or writer in the contemporary "civlisational crisis" (Edgar Morin, La Méthode).
RE: "tension" (frustration, anger..) felt by the artist:
"Many, many of us hold that tension. At times it bursts, hard days, those. But if we can hold it balanced well enough to articulate, some stunning creative expression emerges. And since mere news stories, research and reports, international conferences, and even the actual experience of profound change seems not enough to break the spell of the economic culture, art that does that - art and poetry, images and metaphors, that cause the "breaks" - may be among our most essential tools in the toolkit of trying to save our basic humanity within the whole that is being torn asunder by those still under the power of the spell."
Art as a survival tool.. Think about that a bit, artists.. It's true, of course. Technology won't save us because technology is, at root, "only" tools. Like computers, technology can only output garbage if you insist on programming it with garbage (false values, idiotic goals). GIGO - Garbage In, Garbage Out - as the computer programers say.. Will God save us? Judging from what I read in the Old Testament, probably not. God does not seem to tolerate fools for long. That seems to be what the prophets were saying (often, anyway) The Space Brothers? I really, really don't think so. When I place myself in their shoes, I think it would be wiser to see if we are capable of managing SciTech. In other words, wait to see if we are stupid or crazy enough to destroy ourselves. If we survive THEN they will contact us (?)
If one defines religion as the dialogue of wo/man with the universe (or God/dess), then art as defined in this article may be seen as a spiritual or religious activity, mooring us or situating us in the Cosmos. Latin: religio - obligation, bond, reverence; religare - to bind fast, to moor (a boat).
"Art and writing have within them a mission to clear the fog, to offer a clear view, through the kinds of images and metaphors and stories that cut through the deceptions of the culture and blow the thick clouds away. We may not like what we see, but it may be good to remember that we will not only see what we most fear - that awful need to change everything - not only what is grim and hopeless, but also the sunrise, the stars in the night sky, the horizons, the beauty, the magnificence of this Creation - along with the path that could heal even the worst of the wounds we have inflicted.
The whole of the planet and all of humanity are in a time of transition. The evidence is everywhere and it is clear. An epoch is ending, no matter how desperately we cling to it. The extremes of weather these recent years ought to wake us to something. Let's not be afraid to say what that is."