I’ve a friend Katie Lee, an installation artist from and living in Tasmania, Australia. She has this concept: Artists work in two stages: Input & Output. Take it in. Churn it out. Take it in. Churn it out. Live and watch, Live and produce, and so on…
For about the past two years I have been in both stages simultaneously, consequence of a lifetime of thinking I was the crazy one for believing that art has value until finally deciding to let go and join the nada surf of the fractal wave. For every word you read online there are probably 20 offline. Let’s not even get into the 10,000 photos, the Boojummy “brand” in the making, Business Artivism Theory, Quantum Social Relativity, 50 Gothamist Interviews, numerous Political Essays and Social Commentary.
Just a few of the highlights, of course. There are also websites, concepts under development, a backlog of a few hundred ideas I have not the time to get on paper. And then there are the blogs and Worldzight and Internet Industry Writings…
So I’m sitting here thinking, penniless and in mega-debt: Is it worth it? I don’t know. It depends, I guess, on how one defines “worth.” At least a few folks I know believe all my output, socially conscious in nature as it may be, and actually not half bad if you’ve half a mind, has been a “waste” without value.
Anyone care to agree or disagree?
Anyone care to define “value”?
It’s a wacky, weird world out there, kids, and I’m starting to think all the poor artists out there should just STOP creating. That would be something, don’t you think? I bet it might get folks thinking a bit. You know, the kind of folks who argue over whether it was Van Gogh or Monet or Gauguin who epitomized the post-impressionist movement as the sit and drink tea and nibble crumpets? Perhaps why Gauguin boated off to Taihiti. Don’t know what Monet’s position was, of course. Well, I mean, except for sitting in his flat painting the Chartres Cathedral over and over and over and over… and over.
As for Van Gogh, hard to say what his position would have been and I’m not sure you would even be able to ask him, at least not from a right brain perspective. He cut off part at least a part of his ear anyway and I can only imagine he did it to symbolically silence himself from all the babble of those who scorned him in life only to idolize him later and pay millions upon millions of dollars for the privilege of owning such laconic works as “The Potato Eaters” and “Starry Night.”
Ah, to dream and be humble. It’s worth a million dollars to buy the paint and worth not a dime to pay the man.
Life’s a bit*h ain’t it? Hail to the lords of commerce!
But I happen to think there is a better way and a better day and it need not look too different from now. We just need to supersize our concept of economy to include the value of heart, hope, courage and care.