The more (art)work I create, the more I need to think about it and the more I need to feel about it and the more there is a need for me to somehow collect those thoughts and feelings and ideas. On the other hand it’s the thoughts and ideas and feelings that make the work possible. I create the work, but I do not own the flow from which it emerges. My very best work comes from a place that is outside of me, beyond me, somewhere in an indescribable parallel space.
And I think I am not the only one who feels this way when creating?
Even though I like to occasionally eat at a place called “Größenwahn”, I am continuously careful to not be pulled into the illusion that what I am creating is really mine, or that I have the power to somehow, out of nowhere, create.
Everything I do is part of a larger interconnected something. And my work is about that idea too. The circles representing the beginning are also where many of my drawings end. And the expanding lines and shapes try to work with the space onto which they are placed, but in a way that somehow makes sense. To whom though, me? Or the stories that are passing through me? The flow of everything?
My materials too have come to me from an incredibly complex and interconnected world. May it be the red ink that some office manager bought in London in 1963, after it was manufactured earlier following a formula that must be much older than that. Or then there are the pollution drawings, a forest liquified then pumped out of the earth by some very clever people, pumped again into the belly of a truck to be burned and in the process turn wheels and perhaps deliver organic vegetables to someone interested in their personal well being. Or the drawing with light, reduced to certain wavelengths, we experience as color, projected onto an important wall in a church where aristocrats would promise each other to stay together as a unit and to hold on to power. That very same wall being part of a holy place, one that might have saved lives, allowed lost souls to discover that they are not alone. And then there must have been a lot and lot of love in that very exact space.
The complexity of the energy needed to create any of the images I create surpasses my capacity to understand them, really. And at the same time it makes me be at awe with the precision with which everything is being filtered around me, through me and onto pages and walls and into the journey towards some kind of future.
And I obviously eat and drink and I watch and I listen. The connection that allows me to make anything really goes beyond just being part of a circle of friends, or society or humanity even. This is a much bigger and more complex and more wondrous place. And it has only recently been reduced to machine and algorithmic processes, so we can gain speed, communicate faster, earn more faster and also kill faster and on a larger scale.
But it appears that I am not the only one who thinks and feels that all of this is a construct at which those after us will look through their hands placed firmly on their faces. We are quicker and quicker running in a way that devours the very planet that gave birth to us, eliminates some life forms that might be here to protect us from dangers we are not yet capable to fathom. This and worse.
Really what I am experiencing is the interconnectedness of everything that does not put me on a pedestal, but that instead makes me feel as a part of something bigger and living and in some ways not even alive in the sense as it’s defined on wikipedia.
For me to create anything and for that anything to make any sense, there is the need for an almost infinitely complex system that interconnects everything, and is dependent on everything that is and was and if lucky, will be. And this is not a human system. It is a system that involves burning stars and singing black holes and planets falling unsuccessfully towards something that might disappear before they reach it, and all the creatures living on them and the rocks that were at some point blown onto them or out of them or around on them. Every living creature and every non living one seem to be part of this system in which I as a human am merely a spec with some organs that prevent me from falling off cliffs, running into trees and drinking poison, may it be literal or metaphorical. (That last set of senses could work better.)
I am just a story among stories, having the luxury to create more stories and pictures and what’s in-between.
My “understanding” of all this is not exactly new perhaps, but it seems utterly necessary if there is supposed to be someone like me, or you, or your friends in a future. And it might not be a totally easy idea to swallow and not one that makes a few shareholders oodles of money. But it appears to be something we need to start to somehow give a chance in our brains to grow. (Again?)
We are not quite as special as we often think or are told. We might not be the best thing that has happened to this planet, ever. A story or a narrative is often the ability to omit what does not please the narrator. And if we think about that a bit more then suddenly some quite disgusting behaviors of humans towards other humans and towards the planet make sense. There is no place for newborns on a slave ship heading for a marketplace on the other side of an ocean for instance. But the brutality of this is just a tiny sliver of what the greedy human is capable of.
The greedy human is often the one who assumes supremacy over those who look or maybe even are different from him. And beware of the moment when the privilege of being “human” is (even verbally) taken away. Even over distance.
Hmm… That turned quite painful there, all of a sudden.
Some of my drawings resemble something akin to wasp nests. And while I can’t get excited when a group of wasps descents onto my dinner, I do admire the beauty of the paper objects these insects are capable of. This is where they have been able to breed, feed and to survive over more generations than I would dare to estimate. Cultures are old, but imagine what some creatures were telling each other long before one of our ancestors picked up a stick. Or consider how an octopus, softer than a new born baby, has been adjusting in shape and color to coral reefs long before anyone invented the word “blue”.
When we starte into the abyss, the darkness of that very abyss stares back into us. But in a way we ourselves can be that abyss, we are from the same material, we are the other and we are connected to it. It’s seemingly easier for us to comprehend the world, once we divide it into little parcels and tiny simple stories and assign those to specific creators and values. But that behavior makes us ignore how everything around us is much more beautiful than even thoughts. When we stare into beauty, that beauty gracefully shines back at us. If we attempt to open ourselves to what’s around us, then at least we can enjoy the process of being influenced by what streams through us. In some way. That’s where the images seem to emerge from.
Oh, yes, beauty.
I have to smile, as I am writing this in Offenbach am Main; a place that is not exactly known for its beauty. But there is something here that pushes ideas to the surface, that makes them flow in a fairly unique way. It almost feels as if the name itself had been planted by some ancestors welcoming that very flow, that very stream as if it were an open brook, about to turn into something bigger, to be welcomed, even if in a minimal way into the ocean of everything. Post humanism seems to make sense here.
At least to what I currently think is me.