Saturday, September 15, 2007

Cave Walls Vs. Concert Halls

Yesterday, I wrote about my DMB (Dave Matthews Band) vacation. Whenever I go to a concert these days, it takes me a few days to decompress. These experiences are nearly overwhelming and aim for sensory overkill. Gone are the days of a few guys playing instruments on a stark, black stage. Oh no no no. In this 21st century, rock concerts are extravaganzas. There are colors, lights, digital sounds overlaying sounds, video screens blasting quick fire moving images, and pulsing audio that penetrates every organ in your body. “A list” bands like U2 throw mega millions into their stage sets. In fact when I went to see them, I actually had to go out into the concert hallway just to calm myself down and prevent sensory overload.
The DMB concert was like this too. It is just too much to take in all at once. As I watched and listened, I kept thinking about ART. All the components of these concerts are forms of art. Multimedia artists of some sort create the audio and video spectacles. The backdrop hung behind DMB fascinated me. It was made of industrial gauze like material with strands of colored lights on the back side and video images being projected on the front. This combination created a translucent, moving image any installation artist would envy. Of course, these artistic statements are collaborations and have huge budgets supporting them. That doesn’t matter really. This is what the public sees and expects in our society today. How can solitary visual artists compete? I kept thinking of my piddly paintings. A snapshot of any moment of the DMB concert would make one of my paintings look like a boring postage stamp. The question of competing is a moot point. We can’t.
So I started thinking another way. Our society experiences multimedia overload every day. Maybe my art could be a respite from the frenetic, sensory bombardment we have to endure each day. Then, BINGO! While catching up on my email yesterday, I had a moment of synchronicity. I saw an article by UK artist Gavin Turk. Titled “Why be an artist?” the essay is very thought provoking. One passage made me smile because it linked to my thoughts during the concert. Speaking about prehistoric art, he writes:
“The cave walls became not windows to the outside world, but some form of testament to the inside one, in both senses of dwelling and mind. These pictures were made to last, made to remember something. The author was making something for the community to use as a thinking space.”
That is a perfect way to think about art in today’s world. I love the idea of my work being a “thinking space”. So I will not try to compete. I will do my work and offer it as a different kind of visual experience.
P.S.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear SHEREE, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!
(Thank goodness there is no audio on this blog. If there was sound, you would know why I am a visual artist and not a singer!) LOL LOL


”Hizzum Skizzum” by Sheree Rensel
Click pic to go to Gavin Turk’s article “Why Be An Artist?”

3 comments:

self taught artist said...

happy birthday to you too
have a fun day with no thinking :)

self taught artist said...

I like Hizzum skizzum by the way. I keep looking at it.

Lisa said...

Happy Birthday!

I really like this line also:

The author was making something for the community to use as a thinking space.