This. Written hundreds of times. Like this. This, this, this, this, this, etcetera. Till it fills a page or a poster. And somewhere in the center. Just slightly on the left side of the center of the page. The is in one of the this is in red. The rest of the text is printed in black.
In this do these contain anything interesting at all? Besides being derivative of many examples of advertising and early concrete poetry. Namely, the 1960s. Is there any value to such an image?
This sort of image and technique is lost in a world of infinitely more active and eye-catching visuals. It’s nearly a static museum moment. Captured in boredom.
It’s entirely possible that you can create a totally forgettable piece. In doing so you have fulfilled your duty as an artist. Well, it’s entirely likely you will. You see, you are just no good.
In order for something to rise to the top it needs to travel up and over other things. These other things are mostly made up of people like you. And so it is your duty to be the fodder for someone else to rise above.
Not standing out amongst this talent is not an unimportant thing. It is critical that you exist. That you take your place in the background. Without merit and recognition. History is filled with your type. Pebbles in a great big wall.
So is the going before, the going back or attempting a non-derivative piece even possible? How far back does one have to go? What lateral direction? What line of lineage to follow?
What also gets tried is leaping into the future in hopes of anticipating the next new thing. This is done by following current trends—you know—tomorrow’s invisibles—and guessing what will catch peoples’ eye.
The former, I think, will at least yield you a minor education yet assure you poverty.
Poets are in the same boat too. Their lack of financial reward is so laughable that the pebbles rest on poet’s backs before building the great big wall. Even less than fodder.
That said, it’s not just rising to the top, but staying there. Even this conversation I’m having is destined for the dust heap. Do we still literally have dust heaps? Never defile yourself by saying you are up and coming, because, of course, in no time you will be down and going. With any luck you merely ARE, without direction. And I don’t mean to vaguely mimic Buddhist ideology.
Then there’s Tina Turner’s ‘what’s art got to do with it?’ paradigm of functioning. That being the product is less important than the marketing of that product. That’s the sound of souls crying. Crashing under the weight of their own greed and vanity.
These temptations beguile us. Trick these artists into fulfilling their duty. As the amount of attention increases, so does the amount of attention sought. The more you seek, the more invisible it becomes. This has nothing to do with talent. It is the difference between feeding ego with shovels or teaspoons. It still needs feeding. Every person does.
Because you see a name doesn’t mean that name is worth anything. Because a name has been hanging around for ten minutes doesn’t mean it’ll be here 50 years from now. Because a name has a loyal fan base, it doesn’t mean their work is any good.
Finding out what is useful is three quarters the battle. By useful I mean your sensibilities are aroused and intentions are engaged. Finding this out is crucial. The other quarter is knowing what you like and why. By why, I mean you don’t need to know specifics, but intuition—knowing when to twist it. Well, I’ve managed to make this clichéd to the ear.
Once again it has to do with creating that which has given you the most satisfying and lucrative response. And refashioning it endlessly to the delight of any audience you have mustered. Are these positive results and are they exploratory in nature. It takes a bit longer for them to reach the dust heap. But for 99% of them—they’re fodder.
Stability is a desired position. To know and even anticipate the next facet of your work for the next 5-10 years. Who wouldn’t love that? Who wouldn’t want that stable field—removing the guesswork for just a little while? To not step in unknown quagmires, but stand firm on predictable ground. It’s not wrong to want that. It’s not wrong to need a break.
Turning your fucked up face toward and then away from the business end of popular culture. Can you recall the dream where you were discussing with celestial entities. The diving board that brings you the unsaid universe. The pivot of excellent knowing.
In other words, used to be I could distinguish between creepy self-involvement and diligence worth respecting. Like sifting through swathes of jazz to suss out what compels and what disintegrates at lights first contact. Now I am lost—I mean I know what should be good, but I have dwindled the ability to generate an opinion on excellence.
So what effect does the computer have on creating work meant to be promoted—besides everything? Ultimately, it must be sent or visited—otherwise linked to—and this is how the fire spreading starts. It is basic knowledge that bloggers can say anything and commenters are free to respond any way they want. There seems to be no cap on this paradigm. Of course, saying anything is an open and democratic necessity. But it comes with pitfalls.
Though it seems I am a product of my own dilemma—the disease is further embedded—as it is I cannot extricate myself from it.
The futility of standing in a hallway with my work xeroxed and enlarged—tacked up to show its transparency. An ebook printed out and shown at a gallery. Can that be something? It might be, I simply can’t tell.
Lines are being drawn. Have been drawn. There is no purchase stable enough to steady myself. Any belief is strewn with haphazard entries that undo sturdy conclusions. Second-guessing along as you go. This is derivative too.
A misplaced item is a displaced item that stands out waiting to be recovered.
This structure is nervous—the zeal has left and what remains is an emptiness of lack, of confidence. The sense that I am to be my own words—however vague or dry they have become—is a sinking feeling that is to be faced right up at the microphone. Always faced with being false or the regret of momentum’s end.
The outcome was a hangover hook that suited the scene. A dismal prep with a fine cannon shot. In other words, I found my clown center and made the reading lift off the ground.
Don’t perfume your hand and wave it around. Respect communication, as you would an elder.
This is a poster. This is you looking at a poster. The arrangement is a known quantity. It melts along your eye line. The treacherous possibilities honed to a point. And that point delights at making complex what would otherwise be easy.
There’s an easy brown I’m thinking of for this. Brown background with black text and, of course, the red is. So a question comes up—this is what? (A Patti Smith album on your in-flight music selection)
To be absorbed is to live with possibilities—to explore the available—to get lost and found—to make mistakes that can be fixed. To be absorbed is to be in the system. Safe there. To not be absorbed is death. Impossible quotations. It’s unlinkably dim. No satellite connection. These aren’t even the youth anymore, as it used to be—these are the old. The non wi-fi elderly.
We’re several steps beyond an outbreak—it’s a mainstream condition. A breakneck wild fire pace spreading across land—screen by screen.