I’ve been left uni over a year now and only now am I finally starting to come round to the idea of creating again. The system sucked my creative flow right out of me rather than set me free. Not that I’m not grateful for my piece of paper that tells me I’m officially a certified artist, whatever that’s supposed to be.
The problems that arose from being in an environment that pushed me to explore the boundaries between life and art, is that I was left even more confused about what is my ‘art’ and what’s just my life.
My interests naturally feed into my artwork but sometimes it’s difficult to express those interests in a way that fits into my own idealisms of what my artwork should be.
But… I’ve had a while to think about it now and my new clean living lifestyle is definitely having a positive impact on my want to create, and I’m starting to look forward to seeing how things pan out.
A sneak preview of what’s to come:
Digressing from the realms of confessional art, my focus has landed on the causes our global epidemic, the symptomatic human condition. Where previously I laid blame on the design flaws of the human psyche, I have recently admitted that there may be other forces at work.
Yes we are living in a virtual reality, forgetting who we really are and living our lives through our egos like characters in a video game. Every completed level providing nothing more than a key to the next, where there’s yet more puzzles, more enemies to beat and more of a chance it seems, of ending up right back at the beginning again. But it’s not the ego alone that keeps us within this construct; it’s also the carefully designed layout of the game. The layout panders to our every want and need. Our own egoic traits being used against us as we blindly consume, acquire and own, whilst forever collecting those little shiny coins.
Now ideally I would like to stop playing this game completely. But until a considerable amount of people also make this choice; we are stuck here because we have no easy alternative. I am on a quest to bring about awareness and therefore bring about change. I, like many others, am trying to change the world. And I do so through my creative endeavours. My artwork is a direct consequence of my quest for knowledge, my search for the truth and my hope for change. My medium where possible reflects my dislike for materialism and consumerism. I use audio-visual technology and online writing to make immaterial art, temporary art and art that tries to escape the evils of commodity fetishism and monetary worth. It only “tries” at the moment because inevitably whilst we’re still stuck in this system it’s much too easy to get dragged back down with it. But this serves as a reminder as to why I am doing all this.
Where does art stop and life start? In the ever expanding concept of art, artists face great scrutiny when their artwork doesn’t fit into the outdated conventional standards of aesthetics and commodity fetishism. It’s somewhat surprising considering the advances in technology; where we are surrounded by a virtual reality, that artwork that doesn’t take a material form is not more widely accepted such as the email, smart phones or video games seem to have been. People seem to be slightly more at ease if the artwork is categorised, such as performance or relational aesthetics. But surely creativity should take us out of the bounds of such titles.
I suppose the one question is where do I think the line is between art and life? It’s definitely a blurred one. For a start, your life affects your art. Whether it’s your environment, your mood, the people around you and even how much money you have. Previously I have journeyed into my mind, extracting and dissecting parts of my subconscious. I turned myself into laboratory specimen, or a confessional artist as it’s known in the art world and opened myself up for all to see in a quest to find myself.
On my journey, I certainly didn’t find myself, but I did find some potential to ease my suffering and this is what lead me into the next phase of my artistic practise; working towards a better world, internally and externally. I suppose if I had to classify what I do now, it is a form of relational art. Whilst before I was bringing about awareness of my internal to myself through confessional art, now I am bringing about awareness of our collective exterior world, through art activism.
To create art as a commodity would be a contradiction of what I stand for as an artist; an anarchist, an empath standing up against the forces of capitalism, consumerism and materialism. How I choose to present my art is dependent on what I intuitively feel my audience would to relate to on both a creative and informative level. So the output of my creative practise and what others would scrutinise over as they stumble over themselves in the question to define what art is, would be anything that meets the criteria of my message – an empathic protest with a wide and varied audience in mind.
Action Art….that’s it, I’ve decided….Now for some divine inspiration… 😉
I have been particularly interested in Buddhism for a while. As part of my studies into the human condition with the hope of escaping it’s ailments I have found insight in its teachings. I have been looking in more details recently as Buddhism also seem to support the notion of the ego; a subject I am exploring for my next essay, and I have come across a particularly interesting concept. One that seem to ring true to my woes. This is the six realms. The realms are the possibilities of the residence of the soul in its next life, but there are cross overs. Souls in the Realm of Humanity can experience other realms. One realm that I feel particularly familiar with, and I think a lot of people in this modern world would relate to it – The Realm of the Hungry Ghost. This realms inhabitants experience hunger, cravings and dissatisfaction. This sounds eerily like the consumerism and addiction suffered in the world today. If Buddhism can teach us to be less of a consumer, I think a lot of our discomfort would disappear. I myself find that I am unable to enjoy the simple pleasures in life because my mind is always wandering to what I can eat, drink or buy next. I think a meditation is in order tonight.