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the arts of design, and the designs of art...

i like these conversations, cuz i open the comment box and don't know what i'm going to say, but have thought long and hard about these word/symbols, so trust my humble reflections may have value.

as someone who spends a significant part of my day practicing the arts of playing musical instruments and recording them, i feel i'm an (mostly unpaid) artist, and when i investigate my deepest motives for why i do it, there are two that come immediately to mind.

first, we are surrounded by raw materials, and when we make a simple fire, there's a better way to do it, and it's very artistic feeling to make a good fire, and revel in its hypnotic beauty.

art is like the divine kissing the banal.

i can plant my seeds willy nilly, or i can sow them in patterns that please me... just two simple things we've been doing for millennia.

the second is that real, true, blasts of emotion that good art can release. i remember listening at 16 to some homespun folksinger at the troubadour in earl's ct. in about '67, and crying my eyes out at the wistful beauty of her words and songs.

i walked home feeling rinsed out, cleansed, on fire with something that soothed and excited me simultaneously, moved beyond description, that something so apparently simple could wreak such mood, could reduce my state of mind to such a willing and natural surrender.

it occurred to me that if i could receive such emotions, perhaps it meant also that one day i could be capable of generating them, and this idea caught me at that moment and has never loosened its hold since.

i had a dream where i was in a big circle, holding hands with other singers and songwriters, and i remember feeling so happy when i woke up. this didn't need money, it didn't need a college degree, all it needed was dedication and love.

so there's a sense of keeping the ball rolling, passing the baton, giving back what was given me that feels rootily satisfying.

i have encountered so many people who wished they'd done what i did, and could have, and regretted it.

that also has a way of helping one appreciate one's choices!

under the semantic umbrella of art comes design.

like sven said, the edges blur here. one needs the other. if i play a well designed guitar, my job of translating emotion into and through it is made much easier and more pleasurable.

real art is impossible to reproduce, as it is original, the more inimitable, the more artistic. we could digress into self-actualisation and authenticity, but let's stay on topic.

what i want is life to become art, and that is a lifetime's work, much harder than writing a song, or an album even.

i'd like to find every moment aesthetically satisfying, and it's a humbling task, while remaining a mirage that recedes in ratio to my approach sometimes, as too much aestheticism becomes effete, and true art must appear artless.

design is banal unless it is artistic, though some attempts are so bad one would have preferred they left that impulse unmet! if it's bad enough it may be even commercial, but either way it will end up as camp one day, lol!

i don't like the (illusionary) separation between artists and non-artists, it's an artificial schism. lots of times i'll bring a guitar to a party, but leave it in the car, because i wanted to remain one with the group, and far everyone one includes with art, there's often someone who misuses the experience and ends up feeling blue.

people want art to be pretty and make them feel good, and that has its season too, but i like art that pushes me to face difficult issues, and takes risks. of course one man's edge is another's centre, so often discussions about art, like religion, are a waste of time that could be better used making more art, instead of nattering about it.

i can't deny, nor would want to, that most art today isn't, and that real art is hiding in plain sight just round the corner from where you'd expect to find it. it could be a skyscape, it could be a cat's impossible torqued leap through space, it could be the glint of the sun on the morning dew, but if we don't slow down and savour those things, we become less than human, imo.

how to harness and celebrate the ego in a positive way, rather than lock it up in a dungeon, that's what i like art for.

your mileage will definitely vary...

/ramble

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 08:39:16 AM EST
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