Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Art Thoughts 3. Importance of Cultivating Friends in Media


Cultivate friends in media and if you are an artist it is a pre-requisite. Do not wait for the art historians and critics whose nose are up in the air, to come and take a cursory glance before they go back to their dens to pick up their pens or log into their laptops and jab in the words and ideas about you and your works, stuff you have not even thought about or dreamt of and come up with a critique of the art work that you have taken a few months or a few years to create, and demolish it in one go or praise to the heavens where your work in fact do not have any space as you yourself are sure about but have already found its place in the hell of discourse down there on there on the earth itself. So cultivate friends in media who talk about you and your works the way the bees do when they come to the flowers. Don’t you know the bees do not do anything to the flowers nor do the change the fragrance of the pollens; they just carry and disseminate elsewhere.


Do you think I am cynical when I say this? No, I am not cynical but am trying to be as sincere as possible, as vehement as a critic who could muster up courage to tell the truth. A critic or a historian is not going to help you immediately, here and now. Their job is there in the future and they are like the carriers of a certain gene along the streams of thoughts and bloods, striving to make them relevant at some point in time. Think of it. Maximum that could become revelations gained as you pour into the toms in real time or scroll up or down in the virtual time. Minimum is that they could become the provenance in some auction where works literally go under the hammer of economics and get encased in super strong cases that would in turn go into the vaults or walls till they are called up again to do the service to economics. But people from media are not like that. Aha, they talk about you and your works, exactly the way you want and the way you desire.


Oh dear media men and women who come to the places where works of art displayed, take your seat at the reception or art the café out there, go through the press material that you hold dear as your life line, and much over the goodies that you have just been given and hark upon the words that the artists have in reserve. You may hear an odd word that sounds so high and mighty among the simple talks that the artists usually have. You run to the urinal first to ease yourself once you are back in the office, then to the online thesaurus so that you could discern what is said and what is unsaid in the press release. You have a tendency to copy to repeat the press release so it is always good for the readers, no matter the daily that they subscribe most of the have the same material on art. And I do not make this condescending comment on the journos. Some of them are so good that they kick the press release into the place where it belongs, a dust bin and take out their smartphones and play the record in which they have registered your seemingly intelligent rambling.


See artists, unlike the critics, these journalists are gifted with readable vocabulary and they know how to employ them in the right contexts and eke out the right responses from people. And remember, they are so good at cooking up things when it comes to making up a feature that explains the life, times and works of an artist. Any artist invariably starts off from a remote village where his father was a communist and mother, an illiterate. Then he goes to the big town to study art because he was inspired by a local school teacher. He gave him some books and some names and he is hooked. Good they were not crude pedophiles. After the education you to the city to struggle and you make it and you come back to the village. All what you want to do with your life is to uplift your state into the heavens of international art. If you were born in a rich family and had the luck to study abroad, the story is always like how you have spent all your time in the museums and galleries and got a head start with good art. Stories are made for you neatly by the media friends and you need them. If you don’t have friends in media you are as good as dead.



Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Art Thoughts 2


Artists of the world wake up! You have a lot to lose, not just chains. In fact there are no chains around you no. If you think you have one, then you must be hallucinating. The governments are no longer interested in your paintings or sculptures or any other work of art because your artistic acts no longer matter to the governments. They have become so apathetic and ruthless therefore they are not going to chain you. Governments are only concerned about facilitating the corporations. The corporations are concerned about manipulating big data. Data, as they say, is the new crude. In the long run the majority is going to be irrelevant in the game. Artists are a lot that faces the threat of irrelevancy. Why so, let me explain.


Creating art is one thing and making money out of it in the market is another thing, so says Jasper Johns. And do we need a Jasper Johns to tell that now? He had said it long back before many of you were born even. The current market is all about the object experience of art and its conversion into monetary value. But of late, we are talking about the NFTs- the Non-Fungible Tokens. It may sound so good to the ears of the artists. Your work cannot be replicated once the NFT is here. You are the unique creator and your creation has been transported into the digital realm, with a virgin code, so pristine, and the kind of one that goes back into the previous state once the monetization with it is done. But in the long run, it looks like there is a problem.


NFT talks about the digital piece even without the original one; original is perishable. At times it is forcibly destroyed depending on the nature of transaction. Next is nothing but an NFT whose original never existed! Who is then the maker of it? It is a simple question with a simple answer. The AI could do it for the market as you are made obsolete by the market itself. A work of art made to order to serve a particular economic purpose. It is projected that in the near future the number of global population that understands economics operations in the digital realm will be zero. You cannot fight against a system that you don’t understand.


So what are you going to do with your art and artistic skills? Your art could give you some sort of existential relevancy for the time being. But then even if you are a professional artist, your services are no longer needed. What is the point then in continuing with something that doesn’t create any value in the market? You may find some aesthetical value within your own limited functional society. But that society also would go for a sea change sooner than later.


When AI can replace HI (human intelligence), and if it happens in a decade or so what will be the role of the artists in the society? I am no doomsday prophet. But there are chances of art becoming obsolete or turning into some sort of a primitive human act. May be it is time that artists wake up and think about the present day deeply and derive strategies from a world that keeps evolving in terms of info-technology and bio-technology, two factors that speed up change in unprecedented and unpremeditated ways.



Art Thoughts 1

Bad artists tend to look for and talk about good art and often they are excruciatingly right in their findings and appreciation whereas good artists always tend to look for bad art why because in bad art lies a lot of elements that given a chance could bloom into good art. Interestingly enough good artists are wonderfully adept in picking up those little good elements from bad art and giving them a fantastic flourish in their own works. What does it say? Bad artists in their search become scavengers for good art and are enamored by its ability to enthrall and also slightly put off by their own inability to make use of those elements from the good art to better their own works. But the good artists who work on the elements from the bad art further the very idea of art making. In a way bad art is what triggers good art and there is a strong connection between the good and bad art as well as artists. The difference between them is fundamental though. Bad artists appreciate the living good artists but the living good artists are stingy in returning their appreciation. So they reserve their good words only for the dead and well documented bad artists.


Sunday, April 25, 2021

Thoughts on Covid Days 1

We speak of ousting a regime. We, sitting in our comfort zones demand the Emperor to step down. How's it possible when you replicate him in your own ways wherever it is possible? Look at the surroundings and what you have done unto them. It came to you in a pristine condition and you thought you were improving it. Self deception was your way and you refurbished everything by replacing all what had been given to you. You cut the trees down and made your home there. You tiled the courtyard and brought a brand new car to the porch. You left your bicycles in the corner to gather dust and rust. You bought motorbikes thinking that you improved the pace your local travelling. You made roads but you did not make footpaths. You became an autocrat in your home and you brought up your children as selfish beings. You taught them to hate your neighbor. You armed them with bigotry and jealousy. You tormented your spouse with your tyrannical ways. Husbands decided what wives would do. Enslaved women poisoned their own minds and the minds of the generations. In the bloody ring of kickboxing called marriage husbands and wives shed blood and derived maximum pleasure in hurting each other. And they called it a family, a home. When they went out they portrayed a great union and an enviable couple. While they turned green at your earnings and possessions, you smarted inside endlessly. Your minds became roads where dreams died of asphyxiation waited endlessly for a decent exit. You choked each other, depriving other of the vital air. You closed down the windows and wailed for air and light. You fought for your rights there in the unreal spaces. You became ghosts living in unreal spaces with real bodies. And now you, chained from head to toe, asking for the ouster of the Emperor. Not possible until you change and destroy all what had been enslaving you till date; the false values, the false pride, the false fixation to ideologies, the false human love, the false love for environment, the false everything. Get real and face the reality. May be one day you will able to stand up to the Emperor and say, see, I am a changed man and it is time for you to change. If you don't, oh dear Emperor, oceans of people, changed by the tide of time would flow into your fortress like a Tsunami. Let there be towers or tunnels for you to perch or sneak out but the powers of the changed lot are going to drown you. For you are destined to go forever. But remember people, the precondition is that you have to change the way you live today.