As many of you may know, I’ve been struggling with making any sort of photo art over the last (eight!) months since I functionally finished school. I’ve had plenty of pithy thoughts and several false starts and not accomplished much; not many photos shot, images assembled, even sketches sketched or research researched. Just kind of spinning my wheels. It’s been pleasant enough in a frustrating sort of way, but it’s time to actually produce.
To that end I met with a prof with whom I had always gotten along. Well, that’s not entirely true. At first I didn’t like her at all, but that changed rapidly when she actually started teaching a class I was in. We met during her office hours and went out for a coffee (unexpected). She seemed very happy to see me (also slightly unexpected) and after I showed her the one image I’ve been messing around with she erupted in an astonishing, changing cascade of insights, suggestions, misinterpretations, potential approaches, and general advice and observations. It was remarkable. Her artistic practice is very different than mine (not in the least because it exists) and she comes at things from an appropriately different direction.
So, I’m filled with new ideas, new directions to explore. Many of them (tragically) involve some serious book research, learning about classical and ancient urban design and planning among other things, but the pieces I’ve been fumbling with are moving again. New permutations ahoy!
I’m not sure why the idea of the lone artistic genius, of producing masterworks in a vacuum, out of nothing, is so prevalent and so attractive. The end product of nearly all art is inherently social; trying to communicate, coerce, convince those experiencing it of something, so it makes some sort of (now that I think of it) almost obvious sense that its production should, or at least could, be social. This makes me increasingly excited for the upcoming inaugural meeting of an art club, an art support group, an art collective that I’m going to be involved in. I feel that my need for deadlines is somehow juvenile, but that is the least of things that this group-aided approach to art-making will provide. Feedback, criticism, ideas from as many sources as possible is invaluable; it gives unexpected insights, or things to rail against or… I’m rambling.
I like to art.