I live in a storm, a whirlwind. Culture swirls all around me. It enters me and bounces around inside me. Sometimes it becomes still. It gestates or ferments. I pull back, in order to ponder and analyze.
Out of these islands of quiet, I create my art. Art lives only insomuch as one masters ways of stealing time. Without the pools of time, your chances to create are left to chance. The artist is the thief of time.
If one is subsidized, has solid financial and moral support, it can change the game. Even then one must still have a work ethic. There’s a lot of be said for perseverance. Stick to it!
Most of us will never have such a solid foothold. We work our various day jobs. We live our lives. Then we find time to make art.
It can be difficult to make sense of the overload. There’s just way too much! It can be dizzying. It can drain you. It’s important to find a sense of balance. Sometimes this is easier said than done. This is something else to think about.
My personal strategies are my own and not for everyone.
I rarely watch television. When I do, it’s usually public TV. I try to keep in touch with the side of reality which is known as the news. Yet it’s often riddled with lies, distortions, opinions, futile side tracks and so on. I would guess that this must also be so for the regular television watcher. I wouldn’t know. Yet it seems to be so.
As for the Internet, I use that to stay in touch with social, political, environmental and cultural concerns. Yet I try to direct it, to use my time carefully. It’s all too easy to “go down the rabbit hole.” I try to find the truest truth, the most distilled reality. This isn’t easy, yet once one finds a groove they may be able to stay in it.
I try to get a good sense of hard reality, yet my specialty is culture. I get a lot of it from books and other paper mediums. I love music and the cinema. I don’t truck with television yet I find time for DVD/VHS. I go to local art galleries and museums. I do the same when I travel.
It’s good to be able to keep shifting your priorities yet still try to focus on one project at a time. This goes for both experiencing art (studies) and for creating art (work). True multi-tasking usually leads to disorientation and to mistakes. A little bit goes a long way.
Some people have long since solved this problem of being overwhelmed. Good for them. If you haven’t solved it for yourself you might want to try to do so.
I’ve done pretty well. Yet if one’s awash in data, images and ideas then important things can fall through the cracks. I try not to drop the ball. If one misses something important, it might vanish. You might not be able to find it again. This has happened to me once or twice this year already. If something seems to be important it’s best to move on it. There are plenty of ways in which things can go wrong.
Total avoidance isn’t easy to do. Few of us want to live the rest of our days hiding from reality. One tries to find a system to deal with it all, to get some sort of balance. On the other side, most of us don’t want to live in a perpetual state of dizzying confusion. Some do. They enjoy it. To each his own.
For us artists, keep trying to find quiet spaces and time islands. Be aware/ beware. Keep working. If you like, try to modulate or better interact with your own personal information overload.
Even if you can control this you can still glory in it. It’s like standing by the ocean in an electrical storm. Dark clouds burst with lightning and thunder. The waves soak your clothes. The cold wind makes you more awake and fills your lungs with clean air. You’re aware, wild and alive.
Memorial Day, 2016.