Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Endless Big Conversation

I recently read an article which proposed the sort of "why make" question to a series of different artists (an animator, dancer, performance, painter, etc etc.). Some reasons for their making included provoking empathy, connecting & participating in a larger human dialogue,the engagement of process, escape, harnessing/combating fragmentation of thought and feeling  and so on and so on.

Among these was one response that resonated with me strongly, to my surprise. This particular artist said that his reasons for making were, mainly, unimportant. For him, the only thing that mattered was the endless, inner compulsion TO make, and that all else beyond that was merely speculation, although interesting (and obviously for this residency) to discuss. On any given day, he makes for a different reason than the day before. He spoke of not seeking to generate his "own propaganda" in respect to such a wild, variable factor.

I think the idea of this compulsion and its nature is interesting, It also seems to naturally cycle back around the question of "why?".


  1. I think there is a conceptual value to the futility of making. The task the self-affirmation of " I am here, i have made these things as evidence" I think that leads us to a question of community and contribution.
    Maybe this is a central point in my concerns of the responsibility of making.

  2. Kim- when I was in grad school and considered (actually) leaving, my friend Robin said- "why bother? If you werent making something out of clay, you would be making something else, like bread. It doesnt matter what you make."

  3. If making is such a deep urge for us - does it matter if others like what you make? do you like what you make?
    If it were bread, it would be hard to make bread that nobody ate.........

    1. I think it important to make work that engages both self and a broader audience.

      This is perhaps why many of us are drawn to the studio practice within a shared space, and also why "social practice" is now a common term/practice for artists. We long to be both affected and effective?