Art becomes political the moment culture places meaning on what it sees or hears or reads, and politics requires some measure of creative work when it tries to synthesize civic strategies into cogent messages.
A recent move by the famedMetropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is having the effect of opening opportunities that will be fabulously valuable to all of those who simply cannot expect to travel the globe just to see paintings and sculpture.
If you’ve decided to do something that does matter, you’ve decided to step off the platform and dare yourself not to freak out. You’re now a funambulist, and while you’re on the tightrope, there’s nothing else to do in the world but focus on the task at hand.
It’s as if the extension of our media expectations recalls some unfathomable ur-media, like what the Leakeys might have encountered if Lucy had been propped up in a Flintstones editing suite somewhere in the ancient Olduvai.
The only way to experience the place is to prepare, and the only way to descend after those preparations is to give yourself over to the experience. There is no middle ground if the journey is going to be successful; there is no way to enter the Earth without getting covered in mud.
To be successful with others we obligate ourselves to create worlds of civility an sensitivity. We obligate ourselves to tune in to others in our space, even as we desire to let our own guards down so that others can tune in to us.
The process of successful creation is intangible. I know there is sky above me and I know there is air all around me and I know that the air around me connects directly to the sky above me. Somewhere the two meet, but the dividing line is a fiction of language, a function of our senses being given over to words. There is no dividing line between air and sky, but we describe the expanse of blue overhead as something different than the wind moving leaves on the trees.