Let it rain let it pour, is that gorgeous girl on the corner a whore? Will it wash the stain away? Doubt it can cleanse what permeates from Laurel Canyon to Ed Ruscha. My lovely town what a hound, now downtown smells like canine drown. Much better than the human waste that once could levitate. Just some hometown lovin.
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I have recently have had this want to disconnect. It’s not really a new feeling but a feeling that I have been actively acting on. Let me be more specific, disconnection from the art world, the “fine art “ world. Granted one main reason is the hollowness that is the LA art world. I am not being harsh or bias, I have come to terms with this. Hollywood permeates though out LA. I call this permeation “Hollywood” for lack of a better description. Some might call it LA or superficial but to me, the LA I grew up with was not superficial. It was not even Hollywood. Only until I was old enough to get around on my own did I start to go to the “Hollywood” scene, you know punk rock, Hollywood blvd, clubs, Goth what ever you want to call that dope show. That was a different world. I am from LA not Pasadena, Santa Monica or any of the out skirts that we call LA county or sub division. Born and raised and seen the many sides of LA and recently have started to fall in love with it again, but that’s another story.
Let me get back to the art world I speak of. There is another reason for this want and action. Like in every scene I have witness or been part of, it only satisfies one facet of my interest at a time. The art scene is way to “Scene”, and way to pretentious and full of isms that by its own accord disconnects itself from the viewer (specifically the viewer but the artist to, but I know most artist are fluent in isms, at least enough to get by). I am interested more in the viewer. When I go to a show and the only creative phenomenon I see is the artist finding new ways to stroke themselves, their peers or worse their predecessors. I find no transcendence of concept into light.
In the last few years I have been around a lot of performers (and in the past have always surrounded myself with more musicians than artist) I have noticed a comfort there for myself. Not to say I feel at home, far from that. Being backstage at an event has been something I have taken with a casual stride, but if I stop and think about it, its terribly artificial and would make me incredibly anxious…so I don’t. I’m just there for the snacks.
I think it’s the value the performer gives the audience that I find honorable. Without them there could not exist any dialogue or reason. An audience is just an extension of an experience. They will laugh, cry, set the energy levels of the event or just tell you something after the experience. They are not just going to show up for the wine and cheese or show up just to been seen (hey I am guilty of that too, been going to art openings since I was in Jr. high), and if they do it’s a big price to pay, sitting or experiencing something they have absolutely no interest in.
Let me clarify what I mean when I say audience, an audience is not a static sitting mass. For example I know of a Butoh performance in a cave in which only dancers were at attendance, but no “audience”. There was no need for audience, but the dialogue that must have occurred between performers must have been intensely profound. Each dancer was part of the “audience” essential part of the experience. We can have an argument about if any audience is needed to make art, but that argument is none sense unless we are talking about self-exploration. Have at it if it is, does not include anyone else so why even argue that with someone if you don’t care who knows. Why would anyone engage in a discussion like that for any other reason than a thought exercise is something I am not sure I really understand, with my reasoning Self.
Yes you can argue that in a very arty dogmatic sort of way, but I am losing interest in that forum. Its like having a argument with a significant other and forgetting why you even started that argument but for what ever reason neither side wants to subside…maybe just for the simple reason to have a reason to have a reason. It’s sorta a hollow profound venture. Feels like something epic is being conjured, but is it really? Again I am not opposed to pushing the limit or opposed to the Avant-Garde. What I speak of is masturbatory incest that CAN be institutional investigation in art. Its like if every one sat around bored because every one of life’s questions had been resolved and some one just needed something to do (and from experience few higher level art is really like this. It just seems like that when you peel the first layer of the onion, it validates it as a intellectual investigation, the true meaning is much more coded and far removed from the uninitiated… but again that’s a different story). Don’t think we are quite there just yet.
The Nor Cal art scene is the only scene that I have seen, as of now, that was more focused on the artist to artist to audience dialogue. Everyone was really about the making. Every one for the most part was willing to get down and dirty and collaborate or experiment. And it was good art! Who would of thought? Of course this required you as an artist to step up to the plate. Make!
I think a lot of LA artist talk about making or wish they were making. Hey its not a put down its hard to make in LA or anywhere. After all there is a nightlife for every one of you out here. God knows how hard it would be to make in NYC. Not really interested in knowing really. And again I am talking in broad terms I know folks that are making in NYC and folks that are not making much in Nor Cal and folks that are making for themselves and no body else. Everything is what you bring to it. Plus or minus what you have at your disposal.
Even when we disconnect we hopefully connect with something else. I think that is what I am trying to say. Mostly now I am connecting with corporal transformation and the many ways that can manifest. The art scene at times is not cerebral enough for me. I get that in science, spirituality, yes religion, tech and in people that are being creative and are profoundly investigating truly fascinating things but are not part of the art world. I know there are groups and artist that do not fall into the pit that I am describing, but those artists might have some similar thoughts or they might be dead or extremely stoned. Unplug to re-plug.
This is not really a put down to LA. Mostly to the established art world. As of this moment LA is one of the centers of it…
Oh, lets not forget there is…A SHIT LOAD of moneys in this establishment (I’m not even going to touch on how this discolors it all).
And yes performers in LA are a horrible breed they should all be made to wait on us, bring us delicious food, drinks…oh yeah, right…
Honestly sarcastic and profoundly foolish,