So, a creative type – an artist, a writer, a philosopher, even a coach building a brand – must be somewhat narcissistic, in order to be so inward-facing relative to their interests, their artwork, their inner expression…that it gets thoroughly developed, interesting, and thus unique enough to be worth sharing. They’re constantly combing through and harvesting from their experience so that they can have something to share. This is the first side of the polarity.
However, the more esoteric, the more unique, the harder it is for this expression to resonate with everyone…or, eventually, anyone other than the author – “shave it into a work without spectators, one which exists only for oneself, just for that shortest little moment of life,” to quote the interview where Foucault compared suicide itself to an artwork, reducing the first polarity to its absurd conclusion, in having an individual create a product only fully appreciated by themselves.
When we look at the artworld theories of Dickie and Danto, I think we have the closest that philosophers have come to defining “art” – and both necessitate the presence of some audience, some viewership. As you are to this.
So another side of this polarity is the need for communicability, relate-ability…to use the common language, to find something that can be translated or capture the attention of anyone…
So narcissism versus relate-ability. One polarity.
It’s a concern I have here: I want to share and connect and not alienate or turn anyone away or dissuade them through referencing something they might know nothing about and don’t understand…and yet I also have this very VERY esoteric and eclectic cadre of interests and points of salience. Even worse (or so it might occur) I love the aphoristic and poetic and ephemeral and arcane modes of expression of the so-called “Continental Philosophers” like Derrida or Foucault or Nietzsche or Deleuze…why make reality a science or a grid when you can make it an art and a game? Maybe you’ll get drawn in by my sheer weirdness of it all. Or maybe you’ll catch me on a more relatable day, decide Fox Mulder is interesting, and start digging into these X-Files yourself.
The second polarity: in the creation of art, one must engage with some amount of real or imagined content for the mind to react to, rebound off of, transmute or translate into some medium. Some experience that evokes emotion (a painting like Munch’s The Scream seems to relate to a moment witnessed or experienced by its author), some cultural myth (compare Wonder Woman), some memory (today’s four poems were about one specific person and my experiences with them)…but there must be a balance between the consumption and the creation of content. If you’re constantly consuming, then you’re never creating. That was how I was with Star Trek for most of the last year. I started consuming with Enterprise, went through The Original Series and The Animated Series and The Next Generation (my first time doing this in-universe long-term chronological run-through)…and thanks to this mix of…Richard Futrell (a best friend from long ago, who I like to refer to in my journals as Я), who had both the idea for a Star Trek podcast…and the thought that “one should always be generating content from media consumption, rather than just mindlessly taking it in”…as well as the MentorCoach program getting me present to how great a thing freeconferencecall.com is…I was led to start harvesting again.
So I find that I am beckoned to generate content based on what I’m exploring. This was also recommended by my brilliant coach, Dave Burns. However, I’ve produced SO much content in the past week or so – and I find myself stopping the TNG episode VERY often to jot down notes – that it seems like there’s an imbalance of me interpreting and art-izing my experience rather than just having it.
Ah! That’s yet another phenomenological polarity, that too — to just be in your experience, or to examine it. The Zen monk in kensho…versus Socrates in all his thoughtful glory. I think the former is probably best – total absorption, presence, and lack of internal monologue and chatter…however, clearly (from ALL of the above), I have great love for the latter also.
I propose, then, art exists as a multi-dimensional function somewhere in-between these polarities. Like on the RGB chart.
I could do this, and LOVE it, all day. I’ve definitely re-tuned to a specific channel in consciousness that draws me forward in and of itself, for the pure pleasure of itself. Something’s being born here, something wonderful.
Recipe for bliss # Samekh: Create art. Share it.
(This is exemplified by the above. Philosophy, when done right, imho, can evoke the experience of beauty and wonder at the same time as unhinging you.)