Art by Definition

I was admitted into a class that I do not have prerequisites for- out of sheer good will on the teachers behalf. At the end of the first class he asked us to answer a questionnaire about ourselves. The final question has been bolded and I decided to post the answer because I like where I’m going with it.

My definition of art and ideas so far (I expect I’ll change my mind some time in the future):

To what extent is art practise connected to /separate from everyday life.

Artistic practise. I wonder what you meant by that. I wonder if you meant the creative act? I wonder if you meant a chain of creative acts. As I have been in art school I have heard much to do about the mystical properties of art and artists. The artist’s studio is a metaphor for the artist’s inner life. The artist acts as a mirror or a dream for society, offering up a symbol of great meaning and change on occasion. These ideas are not outrageous as they offer an explanation for the role of the artist withink the larger culture.

The definition of craziness (I’m using the idea psychosis) as written by Freud and later Jung is that of a person who does not subscribe to the same reality as the people around them. I feel like this sometimes while I sit on the bus with my dress form made from my body or when I do public art in the streets (at the request of my professors). I feel like I don’t subscribe to the same ideals as the people around me because I don’t. The nature of art is that of self and societal reflection, the creative act comes from seeing an item for the first time, forgetting all that it is or was and using it in novel ways. This is the same process of art and to an extreme that of psychosis. I believe (for now) that art is the process of letting go. A letting go of preconceptions and and embrace of infinite options.

The people around me engage only within the sphere of their lives. The extent of their preoccupation ends when it requires self or societal reflections. They choose not to look around and not to engage. Art practise is integral to existence as it brings together disparate parts of ourselves together.

Jung spoke frequently of homeostasis- the process of centering or balancing. The process would be initiated often by a symbol offered up by a dream which would force reflection and change within the individual. Homeostasis is the process of returning from the danger zone of any tendancy throught the opposite of it (If one were too chaotic for example, they may dream of order in order to affect their waking world and pull them from the brink of total chaos). The artist and creative act is one of homeostasis for our bureaucratic society. It is an small instance of insanity within a framework of ‘sanity’, metrics and logic. Art practise as defined – by myself- as the culmination of novel interpretations and uses for objects is integral to everyday life. Art practise is the spark to all creation and innovation and pulls us back to balance by offering an alternate view point both opposite and equal to those that dominate at the time.


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