Tuesday, March 6, 2012

You vs. Me

Thanks to the internet we feel more connected to other human beings, not only because we can connect with other people easier with the use of facebook, myspace, blogspot ect. But because we can see evidence of other people, and see people do and feel the same we do; so we feel connected to other humans knowing they also have these feelings. It is a false reality, we are connected and yet we are not. My point being that, because of this new false connection, artist in particular do not feel isolated from other artist. With the use of artist blogs, web sites, youtube, and so on. Artist from all other the world can see each other, and the evidence of each other and feel connected. However, art making, by design is a solitary practice. The internet tricks us into thinking we are more cooperative than we really are.

The environment which fuels art making also fuels isolation, and competition. Not intentionally so but we find that we are pitting against one another unlike other practices. Some fields of art more so than others.

The first way is the studio.
The studio should be, in order to concentrate, a isolated space that is surrounded by things that will inspire you, even if these things are associated with other people (because the actual person is not their),  this is the most obvious way we isolate our selves. By design that is the point. People who share a studio with one or more people are already more cooperative and sociable. If you have ever seen a space with one or more people in it or have had one your self you know that connecting with your studio mate(s) is a key part of your creative process. So being alone to create your work should make you more isolated from other humans. It should, if it was not for the internet! Of all the good that it does, it tricks us in so many ways. By using the internet and seeing other people, searching for inspiration, looking for reference material, instead of seeking out models to bring back to the studio, talking to friends about your work, going to a library or other artist studio we have slowing drawn inward. I found a Norman Rockwell book in a thrift store, and while looking through it I noticed something that started this whole train of thought. This particular book had in it photos he used to take of his models, often his own family members, but also his friends and even strangers. I thought to my self "wow you do not see artists do that much any more! Why the hell not?" Not that artist don't go out and find models but doing life studies for your work is rare, if someone wants to use the human form they can just look it up on line, no actual human is required.

The second way is interpretation.
We all interpret art in our unique ways, and have run into someone who says, that pieces is blank, and you think.....'well to you?' If we all see art differently, based off work we have seen in the past, life experiences, our understanding of art, our understanding of history and metaphors in art, the context, then art is inherently personal. Not that is does not require people, it requires all the people who gave you that information or led you to it but they cannot see or feel what you feel and vise versa. We may attempt to share our knowledge with other people but ultimately it is up to each person how they see the work.

And the third way is critique.
This dose not apply to everyone who likes art obviously, but pertains to people who make it. The act of critiquing sets artists against one another. Pointing out flaws, mistakes, bad form, and poor technique. Artist want to be better than their peers and this is way to fertilize those feelings. This important part of art making is a way to bring people together, it often can pit artist against one another and plant the seed that we are singular entities instead of part of a global collective.

It is my belief that the use of the internet makes people feel more connected to the world and other artist when in fact we are isolating our selves more and more.

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