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Striking the balance really hard.

September 18, 2013

 

 

she that was2

I feel that in an ideal world I would feel at one with myself and from there my adventure would begin, but the sheer chaos and noise of modern living disrupts and agitates my being. It’s strange how when working away at my art my mind feels so active, as thoughts whirl around. Trying to make sense of life and understanding the cultural aspects of a world dominated by capitalism often comes to mind, more through incidental circumstance than desire. Even though I’ve been trying to ignore all the popular cultural output for the past couple of years, it still seeps in to my consciousness and I have to deal with the thoughts it leaves me with. The world is a wash with so much meaningless stuff and I find my thoughts clogged with it all. I feel this overload of information slows me down, dilutes me and renders me more passive as I’m held under the weight of it all. But even as I try to break free from it all I’m still caught up in its web as I seek to have a more fulfilling life.

Z13

 


My eldest child who is aged 11, often speaks about zombies which I have no interest in but I still find myself thinking about them and questioning their relevance to society. I think they originate from west Africa and became a more popular metaphor for slavery in Haiti before being adopted into the mainstream of American popular culture. Now they are just part and parcel of every day life for kids, but I can’t help but see them as a metaphor, for the state induced by consumerism and the strict adherence to conforming without questioning or critical analysis. That then leads my thinking on to how popular culture and fashion seem to be an attempt to pacify the masses and hold them in a false state through often subversive escapist mechanisms. And it’s that point that is truly relevant for me because my thoughts and lifes work lie within the cultural aspects of society, though very much in the margins where I can look in as an outsider, hopefully with a sober objectivity. I find now that I can’t help myself from coming up with an entirely different perspective on what I feel art in society is all about and I feel that popular culture has entered mainstream art and the process of “the homogenization of art” is well under way through economic controls.

Processory
Having young children has brought all these thoughts forward in my mind as I have been made aware of the intense pressures put on them through the rigid constraints of society where alternatives are often frowned upon (because they threaten the status quo). The world seems hell-bent on convenience at any cost and the basic values of life are being traded for hollow and empty experiences based on economic principles of profit and greed. children’s tv is so utterly banal and vacuous and  it makes no real sense beyond filling spaces with meaningless fillings.

e-merging
In many ways I can understand the allure of capitalism as it promises so much, but for me it offers little, because economic value is an irrelevance to my life and thinking. The reality of course is entirely different as everything becomes tied up in copyright and people compete instead of share and at the top the mighty corporations stand firmly in control.  I can’t help but wonder what is the point of capitalism and wonder where it’s really going (or taking us), is there a purpose to it or is it just another obsolescent concept. To summarise, I would have to say that capitalism gets in my way as an artist and places great restrictions both implied and real on my work and approach to art, which is why I often think and write about it in quite negative terms. Even though I’ve spent the last two years avoiding, tv, music, film, news and sport so that I could clear my mind from all the accrued junk I will again need to keep tabs on current affairs, so that I can try to keep my work relevant to my time. But being consumed into the system is always my worry because once in it you can lose your critical judgement which I know only too well from personal experience, of life with too much food and entertainment.

reflecting1
In some ways I  feel that to make relevant art one needs to apply critical theory to the analysis of life and circumstance and while it may seem like I go off on tangents I feel that understanding the context of ones life and times is key to relevance. All my thoughts are a by-product of the creative process which is why I like to share them on my fb page and it helps so much to articulate them in writing and get them out of my mind. There is just so much more to art than an attractive product and it isn’t always obvious or explicable, there is great mystery and depth in the work of those that choose to explore in that deep philosophical and spiritual way.

z12

 

songMEOW

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