Sunday, November 23, 2014

It's Not About Making Art, But Touching Hearts

Real Art has the capacity to make us nervous.
-Susan Sontag

"I just don't understand it, stuff like this. But it's--strange. The thing about the eye in the boy's tongue, that made me feel funny."
"Me too. That's why I like it."
"I don't... understand it," he repeated uneasily and handed it back quickly. And realized he very much wanted to look at the picture again, to reread the words.
-Tomar and Clea, from "Out of the Dead City" by Samuel R. Delany

2. marked by strength of thought, feeling, or style; spirited
4. b. easily excited or irritated; jumpy. c. timid, apprehensive
-"Nervous" from Merriam-Webster Dictionary online

Art is supposed to challenge us, our perceptions of the world both inside and outside ourselves. If it doesn't touch you in some way or from, either it's not doing its job, or you're not being receptive. Sure, sometimes that's your fault for not being receptive, but that's not something you always have control over. We understand, and we hope if you're ever feeling more receptive, you'll come around and try again.

A lot of people never do. It happens.

Some of my art is very directed, meant for one person, or one time, or one place. Once that moment passes, it sometimes becomes meaningless. I don't mind. If I touch one person, I've done my job. Those words might as well be written in the sand, washed away by the next wave; once they've done their job, they're no longer needed. The words themselves aren't gone, just that particular arrangement. The feeling isn't gone, the touch... once you've touched someone like that, their life is changed, altered; sometimes it's imperceptible, a few threads straightened or pulled in the tapestry of their life; sometimes, it's life altering.

Whichever it is, it doesn't matter to me. Just the simple fat that they stopped, looked, read, and accepted my message. They got nervous, which isn't to say I made them uncomfortable, simply that I infected them with a thought.

Hey, wasn't that the whole point of "Inception"?