Now beginning a series of works I’m very excited about in which art itself is a part. Whereas there may generally be elements of the background that are de-emphasized or peripheral, the use of art seems to make every element of the work essential, with each element standing as a work in and of themselves, yet working in harmony as a whole.
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Status quo as I sit at my computer creating art is music. If not shuffling through my own collection I’m streaming via Internet, generally my favorite XPoNential Radio, a public station out of Philly that includes the terrific program World Café featuring a string of superb hosts, from the encyclopedic David Dye to today’s wonderfully vivacious Raina Douris. I’m still more into buying music for my collection rather than simply streaming a service (I have a buddy who continues to deride me for failing to subscribe to Spotify), but most of the new music I’m exposed to comes through those sources.
One such song is ‘Headed South’ from the artist Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster. It’s about a relationship that has reached its end, and the only way to properly conclude it, the singer sings, is to simply leave. And so he’s “headed south”. One of the lines that stands out to me is:
“One day you’ll know me only by the shadow that I cast”
What a perfect description of what an artist does. To some degree everybody does just by living. Perhaps synonymous with Whitman’s “You may contribute a verse”, the artist commits those shades of light and dark within them to external medium. The work survives the artist. Maybe, if not hanging on display, only in a box up in the attic, or a few bits of data on an old hard drive, or something buried in a cloud database of old web pages. Or a not quite describable memory in the back of someone’s mind. But it’s out there in some nook or cranny. A shadow.
Perhaps some shadows are bigger than others. With luck, today’s work will be one of them.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.