I feel like lately I've only been on my blog to vent. I guess that's ok. I think this blog may be on it's way out soon, and I'll be on to new things.
Lately, I can't get through a day without a serious conversation about the social and political issues going on all over the country. I won't say that's necessarily a bad thing. Discussion can often bring enlightenment, which can enact action, which can lead to change. But the constant barrage of causes, and injustices can be very draining. I am one person, and I want to help with everything that I can, but sometimes I don't know where to start. I don't think posting a million opinion pieces on facebook is going to do the trick. And ultimately is seems passive aggressive to me to mix your anger over injustice with nothing more than a few clicks on your keyboard. But what else can you do? There's plenty of ways to take action, but sometimes it's hard to figure out where to start, and to feel like you're doing enough.
For me that's where art comes in, when I feel this sense of paralysis.
I've noticed that as the social landscape has gotten heavier, my art practice has gotten lighter. And by that I mean, a little over a year ago I was drawing somewhat morose illustrations of dead animals, and now I'm dancing around like a drunkard in a giant, cartoon bear head. I guess it's my attempt to "Colbert" my art. To bring attention to issues with which I personally struggle, that I feel are relatable to others, by using humor and interaction. I have no idea whether it is affective, other than easing my own uncomfortable feelings, but then that leads my ever-churning brain into even more questions. Questions like, "If I'm not making change with my art, what is the point in making it?" I think there is a lot of art in the world that is made solely for the sake of being made, and that is OK. And necessary, even. But I don't feel OK with just making art for the sake of making art, at least not all of the time. In my idealist heart of hearts, I would like everything that I do to make at least a very small positive change. But can art really do that? I don't know. And I think maybe the reason some artists make art is because they want to be activists, but they don't really know how. At least that is how I feel sometimes. What are your thoughts? Do you think art can make a truly tangible positive change?
There is a place in my hometown that is one of my favorite places on the planet. That's a lofty thing to say, seeing as how I haven't been to every place on the planet. No matter. Take a short drive into the lazy, rolling hills in the country. Drive down a stretch of road, trees to your left, long stretching fields to your right. Drive over a cement bridge over a river and on the other side is an opening in the trees. Once you cross this opening you are in a huge, circular field, that is completely encased in trees. You can hear the river on the other side, and as night falls in your little firefly globe, you hear the owls, and the cicadas, coyotes, and nothing else. You see more stars than you can comprehend and as the sky darkens, the fireflies fill the field. There are more than you've probably ever seen in your life at one time. It's mesmerizing and beautiful and you feel like you are in another world for a night.