I’ve been trying to write a new blog post here for a while now, thinking about the Superbowl, the F.A. Cup, Egypt, a book I’ve just finished reading called ‘Room’ (which I heartily recommend) and a few shows I’ve seen, but nothing has quite seemed to cut it. I think there has been a slight loss in confidence in what I have to say and in my potential as an artist and a writer as well as a confusion around a new-found love of design; particularly t-shirts and typography drawn partly through my day job.
Then today I’ve spent some time reading this blog post on Creative Nottingham by Origamibiro. He talks about music and sound, referencing Schaefer and the way our ears and brains find similarities in sound, followed by a clip of John Cage defining music as well as referencing projects he is working on.
This has made me think in two ways. I remember when I was the guest blogger on Creative Nottingham, and I managed to write only two posts in the two weeks that this went on for, far less than I wanted to. Partly through a block and partly through a lack of feeling like I had something to say. What I did write about was my turning 28, and how this meant that I would never be able to become part of the ’27 Club’, something that has led to a fascination with producing a list of people I would like to be.
I should have done something with this list by now, but have never quite had the inclination. It has concerned me that I might have lost all inclination to make, or at least to start to make. Yes, this is partly down to being unsure of what to do; there seem to be so many things I should do (make work, read theory, see shows, go to the gym, go to ASDA, watch difficult films, read for pleasure, make music, listen to music, cook, clean, spend time with friends, go see my family…..) that I end up paralysed and doing none of them in favour of watching mind-numbing TV.
Which brings me to the other part of this blog post that made me think. There is a part where Origamibiro talks about how he has been doing what he does for 15 years. 15 years. This implies drive, dedication and passion, things I often have in short bursts but fail to maintain. In some ways it’s about achieving your dream, of which I have many (possibly too many), but this happens through hard work and stick-ability, although success is not guaranteed. Depending on how you measure success, that is.
‘You’ve got big dreams? You want fame? Well, fame costs. And right here is where you start paying – in sweat!’
I have been considering two words of late – Fame and Acclaim. Fame seems to be what my gut instinct is for – I want to be known, celebrated, lauded, centre of attention – and when I’m not I find it difficult. Acclaim is what my head knows I should desire – that is positive feedback from peers, respect and admiration for your work and your achievements – but probably deep down fear I will probably never attain. Culture tells us we should desire fame, but in reality those whose work really stands the test of time achieve acclaim, often without having desired it.
Something I have realised is that I need to stop feeling weighed down by theory and history, or rather my lack of knowledge and understanding of it. A little while ago I had an idea that seemed like a winner, if a little risky. I discussed it with a friend who told me I needed to think about it from every angle critically, then it would be brilliant. It went no further. I suppose I think that this is what proper artists do, when what I really want to do is hurl paint at a canvas and think about it later. I love well conceived and executed work, but lack the patience to produce it, often because I seem to loose the spark quickly. I wish I had a better ability to read, something which I fear inhibits my learning, and as such the books on Heidegger, Friedrich, Byron et al sit unopened on my desk in what is a growing ‘must read or else you’re not a proper artist’ pile.
That’s why I love the video of John Cage talking on Origamibiro’s blog post. It’s simple and easy to perceive. I should spend more time with this sot of thing. It also makes me what to play with sound. I do mean play. I saw Susan Hiller at Tate Britain last weekend, and her ‘Magic Lantern’ brought back memories of how I used to play with light and colour. I think I never felt like I could be good with it because I started to look at theories whilst in my first year, but wonder if actually this is what I need to do.