essay – notes about art
I imagine myself standing in a Vegas casino when these thoughts takes shape, or sitting at the end of a dark bar, drinking something with whiskey, or maybe standing alone in an elevator during the middle of the day.
It seems as if the failure to connect, or the failure of connection, in our current and fashionable attempt, is deep and real and it’s breaking our hearts.
It seems as if we, the people, for some reason, deeply believe that there will never be another shift in the same way that these shifts have happened before.
It seems as if the general thinking is that we can pick and choose our facts, gathered from shoddy investigation, and that all we have to do is fit them into the right scheme.
It seems, it seems, it seems.
There are more, and these thoughts don’t come from nowhere – you can see them in action by just looking around.
In the faces of people walking across the street when you’re stopped at a red light. In the looks and sideways glances in well lit grocery store aisles. In the hidden dynamics of late night conversations during a party.
We offer a down-turned look, an interior monologue ripped from a self help book playing on a record skipping inside of our heads, like an echo – I’ll be ok. I’ll be ok. I’ll be just fine – and, when we talk, our speech resembles more and more the tone of the voices that we hear daily in our media and which tell us nothing. No guide to thinking, just how to act, and even a maybe at that.
A nostalgic re-packaging of some imagined past is what we allow ourselves to give. It’s a maze with a map to guide us back from a wrong turn. But it never gets close to the heart.
The true center of the labyrinth.
Greed and non-thinking have bred a chaotic and fragmented view of the future. A chaotic and fragmented view of the culture.
That view is a symptom of an even more entrenched disease which permeates the core of the whole thing. What is it and can we cure it and can I cure myself of it?
If I throw my hands up, and claim that it’s all bullshit, then what’s the point?
Some analysis would do well here.
A reconsideration, re-cataloging, re-study, of myths with broad concepts and straightforward tools, and then a check against history to see where their explanations break down. This requires patience.
With new tools and new concepts we then carefully redo the experiments and recreate old data sets and attempt to fill in gaps with new information – theories, observations, a mix of both. If the New more clearly articulates and connects than the Old, or vice versa, we junk what’s unnecessary. This is real science.
Minimize error and repeat this process ad infinitum.
But we are bad scientists, and what are these new tools and concepts?
An older generation realized once that their bets on truth in progress for the long haul were an illusion. A dream.
We’re waking up now and realizing that we are becoming them, so we take what we can when we can and think that there’s no other way.
We have been taught well.
We delete facts, and crush our own dreams with a set of alternating teeth, turning them into a fine white powder, waiting for the other histories to disintegrate.
Why do we effectively bully ourselves and not fight back?
I can only present an outline for consideration – a sketch of a different pathway.
Consider that different people can look at the same set of data from distinct vantage points and draw different conclusions. Yes?
I’m standing in a place now, looking at the data that’s in front of me, and building my own organizational scheme.
This doesn’t need to be abstract or obtuse. It’s a natural human process.
It’s taking me a long time to get here, and I have reasonable thing to offer, but its not for sale.
It has to be earned. You have to think. You might have to construct your own scheme also.
Not just a rebuild of facts that have been destroyed, but a case for a new ordering of information, a new mythology.
How is it working for me?
I don’t know, time will tell. My view doesn’t disregard those of others or even try and overtake them, but is just as valid. Stands right by them. Wants to work with them.
It implements a method now out of vogue, a forgotten idea – intuition.
The deepest sorts of revolutions, the deepest sorts of paradigm shifts, are more likely to come from within the culture. They don’t have to be from a radically different place, but where is the proof?
I’m not in the business of trying to show you my point of view without the burden of proof.
I’m applying the method to thinking about the process, but how?
The sustained vision gathered through observation can only be articulated by a careful construction of a proof and that takes time.
Alone with myself, I am aware of what I’m saying, and of what I’m doing, but do I believe in it?
My myths have been fractured for longer than I can remember, but I’m not a digital native. How did this happen?
When I report on a moment, I’m giving life to something that I have only ever imagined, but have never read or seen, and circling the center has provided me the perfect view.
The route through the process has been jagged, but has also offered more to see.
When I stop and observe the culture, it’s clear that there’s a vacuum, and I’m in a unique position.
I see me from the outside carefully weaving a general and well constructed case. I say things to myself like, the time is now, and, even if cliche, the truth is exactly that.
The work is thoughtful and constant – absolutely, every day, for real.
The time is now.
This moment is becoming when I am being honest with my worst enemy – me.
My work might not be very interesting and not very good and maybe I’m exerting effort and still have no understanding of form.
Self criticism is just part of the faults of speculation.
Another is getting nothing done.
I am shaping a thing that will in a natural way, a human way. I am reaffirming my own voice within the eye of the storm. From my temporary vantage point.
I am trying to understand if in the realm of stories, compared to others, mine holds up. Am I too late? Is this process just a painful exercise?
Does it even matter?
I’m aware of the pitfalls, yet still manage to fall for them.
It can be easier to try and hammer the facts into some ready built structure, regardless of the fit.
Reading over the maps left by people who came from the other route, who started from a place of structure, and searched for a way to break it into pieces, I can learn.
Myth-making can use stories to stitch together the scenes of a fiction trapped in limbo, swimming in the black background of a dream, just out of reach. But that’s just a first pass.
I have to go through my own revolution. An event where the scales are lifted from my own eyes, like a Gestalt shift, the whole landscape becoming something else, something different – completely new.
After this, the image will look different, but I can learn the methods of organization through its careful study.
The process is constant.
Without hesitation I can say that this time off my motorcycle has something to do with it. It seems to have painfully created a vacuum, and now, like Borges, I feel as if my task is easy.
I’m living in the right mix of time and space. The best of all possible worlds to fill it.
And, to push even further, a network of people around me grows and allows me to fill that space, and nudge me, and urge me to use my time to work and grow, without judgement.
I understand that I am part of something bigger, and that by developing a structure, building a thing, I can, in a sense, reassure whoever I’ve let down. Even myself.
The same people that are still there for me unconditionally, I can show them that I am there for them as well.
I move closer to the edge of an instantaneous transition, a true paradigm shift, and report back.
So, now standing on this edge, I have to make a choice.
Do I jump?
Standing on this edge, you have to make the choice.
Do you jump?
Standing on this edge, I make the choice.
Do I jump?