Monday, April 17, 2006

More "Going-On-Ness"

We all know this experience of seeing (or hearing, being surrounded by) things we are all of sudden more consciously aware of. It's as if our unconscious perceptions are projecting what we are finally ready to see (or hear, surround ourselves with). This could be as simple as me seeing new blue Prius cars everywhere in Boulder, especially as I now drive around town in one myself. But it's also coming at me from all directions in relation to my recent art investigations into the unconscious triggers that launch my creative missives in whatever "media form" I happen to be playing around in at any given moment in time. It's also been happening in relation to some thematic connections I have been making between the so-called Muse and the way a work of art manifests itself to me as I create it (or, as the case may be, it creates itself, using me as the "media-form").

These ideas have been floating around for awhile, via Greek mythology, Freud, Jung, Gertrude Stein, Henry Miller, Jackson Pollack, Miles Davis, Kathy Acker, Nam June Paik, and Carlos Castenada, just to name a few. Stan Brakhage too. A video program which featured an interview with Stan was just on our local Boulder Channel 8 over the weekend. During the free-flowing dialogue, I heard Stan improvising some associative thoughts about what he called "film as visual music" and how "the work has to suggest its 'going-on-ness.'"

Which brings up an immediate question: how does a work suggest its 'going-on-ness', especially when you take into account issues of duration, creative momentum, focus/unfocus, distancing, and artistic endurance (aesthetic fitness).

Brakhage spoke about "a magicwork that makes itself" - a creative force that is filtered through the unconscious and that probably only happens once one has freed themselves of the weight of commercial success and can finally blaze the path that they intuitively know they have to make (I'm adding my own associative word-thoughts here now). Sampling more of his phrases from the TV interview, he frequently referred to himself as a "nut" ("now I'm really being a nut..."), and was most self-conscious of his "nuttiness" when talking about the "buzzing of mind" and "vision of muse" that fill his head like bees in a beehive as the work gets created on its own terms without any interference. He was cautious enough to make clear that not every work will be a magicwork, and any artist who has stuck it out over decades of trial and error art-research practice knows this to be the case. Sometimes it just comes out, sometimes not. And when the creative momentum one experiences while making a specific work is lost, you are never really sure if you will get it back. These are the risks one takes when developing their new material in a variety of media/mediums, especially when it's time-based media that they are porting their poetic vibes through.

The instrument needs constant tuning.

The beehive mind needs to buzz.

Some mystic needs to forget themselves.

The unconscious experience of art related to the body...

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