Thursday, January 22, 2009


VI : Apheresis

Beyond the topic of intent, earlier I referred to the blank frames that adults intuitively and typically incorporate into photography and painting. This, I believe, is a direct result of social pressures imposed upon us most noticeably in early adolescence. In fact, I prefer the term within my model of consciousness 'the tide of environment' (I never could resist an aquatic metaphor), if only because it also encompasses the powerful influence of, say, the physiology of buildings and spaces, amongst other things. I also referred to that infuriating can't-do won't-do attitude, which, within the same model, I see as borne of the illusion of identity (something I've written a lot about) and further reinforced and exacerbated by a broken system of education.

What's clear is that Congo and young children don't suffer from these obstructions or obstacles within their artistic endeavour, therefore even with the bestest most purest intent in the whole world, these issues can be critical for achieving objectively the most successful results. We can't go back to being a child, nor can we become like Congo; while these behavioural influences are so potent, so embedded in our conscious, it is useless to attempt resistance by denial or by some kind of belief in freedom of choice.

As I see it, there are two other paths open: the first being to incorporate the element of randomisation, particularly through collaboration, through working in groups. The chaotisation of input has the alchemical potential for results far greater than the sum of the individual parts. However, success is entirely dependent upon chance - and that likelihood is very slight indeed. The second path is for there to be obstructions to the obstructions. This can take many forms, some riskier to the artist's health and welfare than others: isolation, drugs, asceticism, madness, tragedy, or even the predetermination of special rules (the Dogma series of films is a good example of the latter).

continue to part 7 (final)

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