A Philosophy of the Moment · In Việt Nam · Stories

Don’t Reach For The Phone First. Make Art

For the writer, it’s been said that the best thing to do upon waking up is grab the pen… or at least the keyboard, and empty out all your earliest thoughts or journal away the sins of yesterday. It’s a great method for any artist that is meant to really help get into the right kind of artistic mindset for the rest of the day.

These days, first thing I’ve been reaching for is the cell phone.

I have this grand compunction to know what time it is, even though I have gone out of my way to do the kind of work that is not time sensitive. I don’t have a place to report to by a certain time, nor do I have any specific deadlines I’m trying to reach. “Knowing the time” on the clock does little to help me at all, yet I keep reaching over as soon as I’m awake. I’ve been here before… Instead of being on “world time,” the intervals of reality where events happen when they happen and people awaken and choose to move with their needs and their hearts; I find myself on “corporate time,” the time invented to create a schedule to move items by rail that would allow people 200 years ago to coordinate and make a lot of money.

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A Philosophy of the Moment · In Việt Nam · Stories

Why I Art

We think of art in such a variety of ways that it is virtually impossible to come up with anything close to a universal definition. Case in point, I typed in “art is” in Google search and the hive mind finished my sentence with options like “essential to life,” “dead,” and “in bakery.” Then there was my personal favorite, “an explosion.” Art is… formless in a way, but at its best it is communicative, illustrative, and transformative. In being those things, it can also be subversive, disruptive, and even destructive. Art simply “is,” and yet we continually invent new reasons for it to exist. So why do we art?  After all,

It’s not like it’s going to make you rich.

It’s not like it’s going to change the world.

It’s not like it’s going to make a difference.

It’s not like it’s going to make you happy.

It’s not like it’s going to make you feel better.

It’s not like it’s going to give you a reason to live.

…save for when it does, which is kind of all the time.

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100 Conversations · Ideations · In Việt Nam

Hoity toity jargon-happy boringness, academics and obfuscation

‘IT WOULD BE UNINTERESTING, is why.’

‘What? You always kind of start from left field, I feel, with no grounding, scene setting, stage, or the like.’

‘That’s… just clutter.’

‘No. It’s context.’

‘Oh.’

‘Not many people would be this patient, you know. Writing has to grab you, hook you in..’

‘You sound like a coach! And from the nineties, at that. I met someone just the other day who is stuck in the past, so it feels familiar. The disinterest in new forms.’

‘!’

‘Putting it into plain words is hard.’

‘Try.’

‘Well, OK. There are these really interesting people everywhere doing interesting things, like the fake grass on the tuk tuk, that is so cool, and those garden-y vibes with the plants poking up the sides, I love that! It’s so modern! I love it!’

‘And?’

‘Then, you get the researchers coming in somehow mucking about with opinions and so called objective data, I’m being influenced, okay, by the books we are reading in book club here in S P A C E, but yeah. Those people aren’t interested in intrinsic beauty, or the emergent. They can’t see it. They’re stuck with old rulers measuring things that no longer count. It’s obsolete. It’s a waste of time…. Of resources. I want to tell them… Look at it. What’s there. Really look.’

‘Is this looking and seeing and reflection stuff you are making lots and lots of posts about lately, is this related to the bad metrics?’

‘YES, it is.’

‘Go on.’

 

Misoneism

‘OLD IDEAS get in the way. The cutting edge is the not yet obvious. The inner circles want familiarity, something trustworthy, something they can say, This has been socially validated. “Therefore, it must be Good.” Trouble is, what’s Good is changing, changes all the time, based on what is there, what’s potentially there, and like I said, what’s emergent. This is systems stuff. Systems thinking. And no, I’m not co-opting a term from engineering because it’s fashionable if I wanted to do that I would expound for four paragraphs on holography, illusion, projections, mind and consciousness, wholeness and the implicate order, not-real things that sound like sci fi, and you know, well, yeah, believing in the existence of atoms. And that hoax.’

‘Huh? Hoax?’

‘Oh. I should talk about that some more. Maybe I will. Maybe in The Mirror, week 14 or something, after the last week? After Week 12’s New Geometries. I should, really. It’s so damn hilarious what those people did, what with these bollix academic writings and getting them published in a so called intellectual thing!’

‘Thing.’

‘Hoity toity journal of nothing really at all, because the words are bulky and the ideas are convoluted. Tell it clearly! Say it simply! Don’t cover it up with your pretentiousness and  cumbersome vocabulary! How do you do that? Know your subject! Know what it is about it that turns you on! If I can’t see the you in what you are saying, even if it’s fact-y fact-y, then I don’t care! A lot of thinkers and philosophers and politicians got where they did because they didn’t put up a bunch of jargon nothingness, they just said it! What it was! Why it mattered! The best artists i know aren’t afraid to answer the question, “What are you into, mate?” Cause!… Cause yeah. If you can’t explain it to a five year old, you don’t know what you are saying.’

‘Did you? Explain this to a five year old?’

‘Yes! O.’

‘What did she say?’

‘”There is no point climbing over walls when a door would do, nicely.”‘

‘Mmm. You sure you’re not just mad though?’

‘No! I just steer way clear, usually. Of the misoneists.’

Excerpted from the S P A C E edition of DK’s eBook Nostalgia Ca Phe (April 2018). This post is part of a series, 100 conversations, underwritten by members of S P A C E.