Because my primary world has been art, I often wonder about all of the unknown artists and true original thinkers that I/we will never know about because they have never sought the limelight and have been ignored by those who determine how to feed the public appetite. It is very apparent that the New Society consists of spoon feeding all of us the headlines of choice, the people of choice, while bombarding us with their point of view in the hopes we will sympathize with and accept this means of informing and influencing.
I see this happening in all fields and more intensely than ever. The availability of information, on one hand, gives us the feeling that we are missing nothing. We can easily find a media source to line up with what we think is our view. Is it possible to be groomed to think a certain way? Has the sophistication and science of ‘information presentation’ reduced our individual ability to know what we really think and feel? This, if true, has obvious societal implications which if done well would be almost invisible to us. This machine of dissemination would have and does control who and what we are aware of.
The other side of this feeling of ‘all knowing’ is the power of complete invisibility; keeping from our view ideas and people who are true original thinkers. This applies to all fields including art. We contend with what we see and are aware of. We never consider what has been kept from our awareness. It is there but we don’t see it so we remain just where we fit in, typically serving someone else’s point of view unconsciously. Significance in the arts and in society appears to be a few steps removed from the main flow of information and sympathetic resonance that it seeks from the individual.
Discovering the unknown matters more to me than ever. I dream of assembling these unknowns into one place, allowing points of views that I agree and don’t agree with, yet anyway. True art speaks loud and clear. It disrupts the accepted. Freedom of expression is just that; the freedom to speak, write or make without fear of retribution and for us in the arts Robert Mapplethorpe is a prime example. I find the rhetoric on the right and left on social media quite scary as the information controllers sway our emotions, seduce us into easy participation and rob us of our independence. The arts and philosophy and literature hold the best of who we are individually and as a society. Committing to that gives me hope. Making art changes the world.
Above in Image:
Dennis Oppenheim, Performance Piece 2000 – Interesting work and I have put the link to the site to see more.Interesting artist in my view.