The process of making art beguiles me.
It’s simple in a lot of ways — make marks somewhere until what’s there is interesting. Then again, there are issues. Issues of uniqueness, interestingness, self-indulgence, meaning, distraction, triteness emerge repeatedly. Worse yet, for me a person who’s spent too much energy reflecting on free will or lack thereof, it’s unclear where the act of creation — the artistic act-actually takes place.
Obviously all that is easy to dismiss. The silly meanderings of a person doing art — an artist — naval gazing. Do the work. Do work. The powerful antidote to all creative existential questions. There’s some value in that slogan. Certainly a good motivator when there’s literally no movement at all. But it can also be a nudge into direction-less and poorly executed work. Or worse, it can lead to sustain ruts of facsimile or inefficient messes.
Or it can lead to raw expressions of the more primal kind. :Do work: can be the stuff that’s been there for awhile but needed permission to just come out. Do work maybe the most essential ideas.
And maybe it’s the only thing that can be done. It’s possible that all the other considerations of style, analysis, efficiency, meaning, symbolism, form, composition, are merely warm ups — the calisthenics of artful mark making.
My deepest suspicion is my last paragraph above is the most correct notion. And not because there’s some logical, linguistic argument or a rational art history point but because the world itself, reality in whole and in part, doesn’t have the ideas of meaning, uniqueness, interestingness, composition all in the lovely artistic senses. The world just is. What we see, hear, taste, touch, smell, feel, observe, sense just is — filtered, in relation, in biased relation, in more or less organized ways. Observation from object through senses to surface seems as reasonable a way to make marks as carefully planning things out through imagination and technical execution. Perhaps though it’s just no worse an approach, not better, just no worse.
Hilariously I find my own argument above to just Do Work incredibly lazy. It is the ultimate justification to just do work but not understand what one is doing. And in a double hilarious move I think it’s lazy until you Do Enough Work that the Doing Work accidentally emerges into understanding.
Insights come in unexpected moments and, in art practice, are rarely noticeable by an audience. Until enough work is done. So, art as a dialog between artist and audience, requires Double Doing Work — enough work that insight occurs to the artist then enough work to render that insight readily to the audience. Yikes. There might actually be three times Do Work required when considering the effects of audiences exposure to the art being filtered by algorithms. An artist must do work for their own insight, do work for audiences insight, AND do work for the algorithms insight on connecting artist and audience.
Apparently Doing Work is an endless recursion into More Work.
It’s quite possible art is never actually created.
I have to go consider the meaning of all this.