2013/07/28

A second life.

What is sticking out, in my view, from my writing over the past 10 years can be summarized as follows:

1. The general economic and societal reality in Late-Modernity:
  • Late-Modernity is the age of an over-indebted capitalistic globalization that threatens the collapse of nation-states that in turn could collapse the "Economy-World"
  • late-Modernity also witnesses the convergence of the side-effects from humanity's blind following of the "reason of capital" and its functional rationality (population explosion, peak resources, climate change, poisoning of all there is under the sun and societal atomization). This convergence has the potential to collapse not only the "Economy-World" and human societies but could also end-up as the graveyard of humanity.
2. Late-Modernity concludes in utter-confusion about the meaning and societal function of art:
  • what passes for art in Late-Modernity are, at best, no more than interior decoration productions and/or vacuous mental masturbation that eventually get financialized by greedy speculators on the hunt for the financial jack-pot
  • in Late-Modernity art is simply dead and there is no single chance that it could be reinvigorated no more than the societies in which it operates.
3. Over the long history of humanity art had always a meaning and societal functionality:
  • the rejection of all past certainties and the search for a deeper meaning about reality that was the hallmark of Modernism, in the age of "High-Modernity", did not deliver the goods and instead concluded in the absurd proposition that "whatever" is art
  • in the meantime, in Late-Modernity scientific visualizations have seemingly adopted the historical character of art productions (illustrations of the worldview of the men of knowledge of the day for all to share) while nevertheless not really attaining the quality of art for the good reason that scientists are not offering a true worldview (big picture of what reality is all about) but only disparate "knowings" that can't possibly glue the minds of the citizenry behind a shared story. As such scientific visualizations don't satisfy the function of art and can't thus possibly strengthen societal cohesion
4. The turning point from Modernity to what comes "After-Modernity":
  • all signs point to the ending of the age of Modernity as point 1 and 2 attest
  • deeply sensitive observers can already detect the emergence of possible elements of a new worldview in the shaping that aligns with the real possibility of human societal descent or collapse and could thus eventually form a useful societal glue amidst the coming chaos. Such signifiers of a possibly emerging future worldview, I firmly believe, constitute a fertile ground for real artists. They form indeed the substance from which artists could possibly churn out significant works. By that I mean such works would eventually offer initial visual signs, around which a surviving but hurting humanity could find the necessary common ground to share a new “foundational” story, about what reality is all about, that is adapted to the new circumstances. Such works would be significant in the sense that they possibly could resist the dust-up of passing time which is the hallmark of a real work of art.
Going forward my ambition, in writing, is to touch upon such signifiers of a possibly emerging future worldview.

In my writing I try to lay-out, in as rational a way as I can, a vision as it builds up in the conscious part of my mind. In my painting I let go of all restraints of rationality to dwell, into what is hidden from my conscious mind, somewhere in what we call the unconscious. Such a writing exercise is new for me. I have indeed been stuck these past 10 years in the easier part of the exercise. I mean analyzing the present in light of the past is inevitably easier than to use such an analysis in order to have a valid glance at the future. A valid glance at the future starts with a strong analysis of the present in light of the past but the substance of such a glance lays in the future, as such it remains irremediably unknown, and necessitates a leap of faith or the faith in a vision. My painting acts as that vision. I'm not trying to say that the final product of painting, the painted object, is that vision. What I'm trying to say is that the act of painting itself is procuring me that vision.

These last 10 years I have simultaneously been working from my conscious in writing and from my unconscious in painting. So my conscious side has unmistakably been shaped in some form or another by the unconscious side and vice versa. I have the strange and strong feeling that my unconscious is shaped by my dreams and idealistic visions of the future while my conscious is constantly trying to get hold of some lifebuoy in the form of available knowledge to try to restraint the wilderness of the unconscious dreams. I also have the feeling that my unconscious has somehow guided my conscious side to build-up useful knowledge that could validate or invalidate its idealistic drive. Both have definitely deeply influenced the other and this has narrowed the divide between them. Sometimes, in my wandering mind, I come to think that both sides have nearly become interchangeable. The remaining difference is mostly constrained I feel, not by the substance, but by the form the substance takes to touch me. It's indeed as if the unconscious was direct, or directly touching a raw nerve, while the conscious necessitates translation through a communication filter and that involves time and also some discipline.

In the act of painting my conscious and unconscious intermingle without the need for the conscious to translate the unconscious through a communication filer. This intermingling works for me during the act of painting. But I feel that the painted object that results from the act of painting is too often only a pale reflection of what the vision that built-up while painting offered me to “see”. How this results in the way the final painted work operates on the eyes and minds of the outside observer remains a mystery to me. But seen how my own observation of the painted object operates I don't put too much faith in the impact of my visual works on others' way of seeing. A written follow-up could be a useful help or user manual for the observer. That's what I intend my future writing to eventually evolve into. But I'm afraid it will take some time and practice before the writing flows to there...

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