Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What I'm Thinking About Lately

--I'm coming up on 500 blog posts. I guess maybe I should think about what the blog has done for me, and maybe what it hasn't. How it has changed the way I write, the way I think about writing, the way I think about what it means to make writing for free, and give it away for free. I find that even though I'm not particularly interested in marking certain passages--year marks, large round numbers--I am also compelled to mark them, as evidence. Of something.

--I am ambivalent about everything. Perhaps too much.

--Does supplemental material change the perception of a work of art? I'm thinking about this age of DVD commentary, bonus tracks, and so on. I think about Doris Salcedo's work "Shibboleth," which was at the Tate Modern in 2007. She wouldn't discuss how the crack was made--and that actually made the work less interesting to me. Perhaps because the feat of it was so startling. I'm with her, in some senses--the work stands alone. But...

--Antony Gormley's current work of art, in London, "One & Other." Basically, for 100 days, 2400 members of the public will stand on the vacant fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square for an hour each. Watching the public use this moment--their 1 hour of a certain kind of fame--has been interesting. People are using it to raise awareness for a certain cause....or they are hanging out, taking pictures, having tea. It's interesting to me to think about use, and identity, and art, and how all these things are crammed in together with activism--which I never even thought about until the public started bringing signs and stuff with them to their hour on the plinth. This brings about the question of visibility, and what that means.

--I used to have a lot of sadness about finishing my novel--only in that you're essentially killing off people who have lived in your brain for so long, your friends in the loneliest of times. But, for whatever reason, it never occurred to me that, actually, in finishing it--you're giving them life, forever. (Or, as least, as long as you remain in print.)


your mom said...

Our library has de-accessioned about 6,000 books this summer, and I was responsible for culling the P section--journalism and literature of all nationalities. In order to make room for new tities, I had to remove several hundred books because of non-use or poor condition. Thankfully, I was able to replace many of them with acid-free editions that will invite use rather than discourage it. I felt sad, though, for all the authors whose books are out of print and whose pages are crumbling and brown-edged like the dry Poplar leaves that lie in my yard in this July/August heat. Alas, most of these authors are gone, too.

Jason said...

I think you shouldn't look at such a passing as a loss but as a chance for new life. Think of what those people contributed, how many others enjoyed their work, and how the world is a better place because of it. While not artistic, I feel a sense of loss everytime a project I work on is built. There cannot be life without death. I think that if we contribute to the life in a positive way, we help ourselves and those around us.

I walked part of a prairie in the Myakka River watershed after a fire caused by a lightning strike. It looked desolate, abandoned, and wholly without life. A month later it was lush with new sedges, palmetto, and wiregrass with only scars from the violence of the fire. It was new and teaming with wildlife and it occured to me that this would have never happened without the fire. The nutrients from the charred vegetation nurished the new just as all that you have taken from your experience serves to nourish your future art....and that makes it immortal....until the new highways comes.