Revolutionary Art

Statements and actions for a cause or revolutionary change are needed, but not art.  Art can be revolutionary even while its creators are reactionary in their words.  Art is art because it expresses something of the unconscious.

I make politically trivial sketches, Thousand Sketches, (Like the image above) but I think they are ok, even somewhat progressive.  I think it is because they are steps on a path into my own unconscious and that is the collective ethos, zeitgeist, at the same time.   I don’t know how deep I go.  I let the pen do the work, stuff comes  unbidden, I trust my life has its roots in the culture and thus something of the culture will emerge.

It is a struggle not to judge it as crap. It is as a result of my scribbling that I discovered an affinity with the abstract expressionists, who do not rank high on the political awareness scale, but I think their roots (check out Mark Toby) in calligraphy and the spontaneity of the body (Pollock’s dance as he paints) may be a way to tune into zeitgeist.  It had to do that or it would not even have been capable of being exploited by the art world.

Pollock’s statement “I am nature” makes sense to me.  He does not need to look at the world and then paint it, he is nature.  Social and political dimensions don’t need to be painted from the outside, they will emerge… with luck through spontaneity, ie the absence of fear and judgement.  They will not be pure expressions of one class, art is too specific for that. Art is a slice of time & specific contradictions under a microscope, a probe into what is going on.  The interpretation of the data is important, but before interpretation is possible it has to be mined.

These thoughts came up well before finishing this item on Reading the Maps:

Reading the Maps: Alan Brunton and the dream of a revolutionary art:

In a country where the Greens are considered a far left party, and where socialism is presently regarded as an alien political tradition, how can any coherent political programme hope to be popular, or even comprehensible, without being, from a radical left-wing perspective, ‘cowardly’? And in a country where large numbers of people still expect poetry to rhyme, and still consider any visual art movement more recent than Impressionism to be an elitist fraud, how can any self-respecting artist disavow incomprehensibility? Could, say, Colin McCahon or Rita Angus have created their masterpieces without daring to be, for a large segment of the population, incomprehensible?

Zeitgeist – a swing to art, beauty & truth?

Zeitgeist. Time ghost. Spirit of the times. What is going on?

I was in tune with the Zeitgeist while going on marches in 1968-9. I was in tune with the Zeitgeist in 1969-70 when I was going into communal living and alternative schools. And again with personal growth all through the 80s. Psychodrama groups, and psychotherapy. And in the very early 90s setting up Psybernet as an online enterprise, I could see the dot.com era looming, (sadly I was out of sync with monetising my insight) I have loved being experientially involved in a world changing era.

I am curious about my current interested in art & creativity?

Am I sniffing something that is in the air?

I am curious… what do you think, is it time for a reaction against the pragmatic, quick, efficient, functional business like era we have been in? Is there a swing to art, beauty & truth?

They say that the … genius is always ahead of his time. True, but
only because he’s so thoroughly of his time.

Henry Miller, Preface to The Subterraneans,
by Jack kerouac, 1959

We don’t know who discovered water, but we know it wasn’t the fish.

The past went that-a-way. When faced with a totally new situation, we tend always to attach ourselves to the objects, to the flavor of the most recent past. We look at the present through a rear view mirror. We march backwards into the future.

The poet, the artist, the sleuth – whoever sharpens our perception tends to be anti-social; rarely “well-adjusted”, he cannot go along with currents and trends. A strange bond often exists among anti-social types in their power to see environments as they really are.

What we call art would seem to be specialist artifacts for enhancing human perception.

Marshall McLuhan