Is it natural to fall into cycles? Are these patterns indicative of a serial reliance on a structural crutch? I was thinking today of a friend of a friend, someone I have never met, but who somewhat recently quit his job and embarked on a year long journey across the globe. Again, I do not know this person, but it sounded like the work he had been engaging in suddenly reared its unfulfilling head and left him with a bit of an existential crisis. Of all of the people I know who have come to this crossroads in their life, I believe this man has returned the serve dealt to him by life questions and dilemmas quite bravely. So infrequently do we shed the comforts of the known to flee into the abyss of mystery and wonder that exists in the rest of the world. To me, it is a virtuous way to try to understand value and quality in the world (see: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) and to try to find a way to interact in this world without harming others and with the hope of potentially even bettering this world. I sometimes try to convince myself that art is something that is good for the earth, that it feeds the collective soul and enriches more than just me. My work is not political, it is not even really clear in its point of view sometimes, but it is strident in its insistence on being, through me. Like the notion of a genius spirit, I can sometimes feel as though these ideas live through me, that I am a simple catalyst in their creation, not a pawn or a tool, as it is a collaboration, but these things do not always feel as they come from some entirety of spirit that is Stacy. The artist Janine Antoni spoke about a piece that she made recently where she planted a "love letter" of sorts in the pockets of people who checked their coats at a show at a museum. The letter was a letter of admiration, written from the point of view of an art piece, as though the object was seduced by the viewer, and analyses the quiet, intimate interaction that can, and should, occur between the art and the viewer. The letter is ambiguous though, and it can at first glance seem as though it was written by a person. When she spoke about this piece, she described her work as children that she sends out into the world, hoping for the best, but being unable to control and help them once they are out on their own. I found this to be lovely and poetic. She spoke about looking at the world through the lens of the art itself, rather than as an artist responsible for these actions. It is not that I seek to shirk this responsibility that we have as artists to be socially conscious and aware of the fact that our work does speak for us, but it also speaks for all of humanity, and therein lies not one voice, but many many interpretations that must be free to become.
If anyone is interested, the traveling man has a facebook blog, I suggest you read it, if you are not totally turned off to blogs after reading this one! It is honest and inspiring.