We stayed up much too late last night watching reruns of TV shows we don't necessarily like. You know how it goes; Ben reading photography fora while kind of listening to the TV, me playing repetitive games while thinking I should at least be knitting or unravelling my sweater if not going to bed or reading. While I massage my arm because it's getting RSI from the game.
While still in bed this Saturday morning way past what can sanely be called "sleeping in late", with my head hanging down from my side of the bed, (crucial,) I reflected on how relaxed I feel about Art/Craft discussions lately, and I know it is (partly?) due to these things.
A) I am convinced loom-woven textiles can be art. More precisely, some woven cloth can easily sit on the art (or whatever term you prefer at the respected) end of the continuum. For me, such pieces require uniqueness, (as opposed to mass-production,) technical expertise on the part of the maker and well-crafted-ness of the work, (a must; concepts badly executed are not art but intentions,) and an extra umph, but I haven't grasped what this last one is. And for me, it heps if the final work is also pretty I am convinced truly worth work don't need to be explained to skeptics to be included/permitted to take place at the "art" end; I think there is a kind of absolute in this area that transcend culture/history/region/fashion, but I'm not 100% on this yet.
B) By my own criteria, I have not only not woven anything anywhere near what I deem "art", nor can envision something I could weave, with proper additional knowledge, technique, and gumption, yet. Knowing this has freed me from disgruntlement/entitlement from my past real/perceived/forecasted exclusion.
C) On the other hand, criticism/popularity, saleability, and inclusion in exhibitions are relative and sometimes political. It depends on persons involved, their group dynamic, number of submissions/competition, platforms, (galleries, region/country/history, ethnicity of parties concerned, publication/program, and much more,) and fashion. As regards exhibitions, I've come to believe briefs and statements by organizers/selectors/juries/judges are at best their intentions, escape clause, a construct, which may or may not have any bearing on the final shape of the exhibition. I say this not bitterly, but in summing up my personal experiences and numerous discussions with writers, musos and artists for half a dozen years. It appears, further, book and music awards appear to pander to popular taste, whereas in visual arts, surprise- or shock-value plays a more noticeable role.
If I were to practice what I preach, I should strive to make good work, have unerring faith in what I make and submit, and when excluded, shrug the experience off knowing it's "their" bad taste/judgment/loss. They couldn't even see the work's worth based on A). Life would be so carefree; I'll stop analyzing every single word and every space between then in every brief seeking, a way to meet the brief to the letter. As a maker, there would be more integrity to my work if I could stick to my beliefs.
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A string of unrelated human interactions in the last, oh, month have brought out my misanthropy to the fore; well, it's more the acute reminder I don't feel comfortable in my interaction with people and I waste a lot of time to performance anxiety. More on that another time, but I now recognize a recurring theme in my psyche and a possible concept I can work on for a long, long time. It is appearance vs intention, or outside vs inside, or my/others' perception of the outer me and my actions vs my intentions/perceptions of myself. It's loaded; it has to do with being Japanese, having grown up in two very different places; having parents and teachers with expectations, some of which don't go nicely with the grown-up me's values; Minnesota vs New Zealand, etc, etc, etc.
I often ponder about blogging/Internet where we are the hosts of our own little universes and the main (and sometimes only) protagonists. You can't refute that we gradually surround ourselves with yes-friends, because people who don't like us or our work will not comment or not read or unlike or unfollow and eventually go away. I'm not saying gatherings of like-minded people are not good; no, not at all. But there is the potential to see a skewed view of one's place in the world, I think, especially if one never knew one's place in the world like I never knew; the value and the right-ness of one's opinions; how to deal with disagreements; and for weak-minded persons like myself, it filters into the real world. Because all of you are as real to me as Ben right here.
While I love your comments here and on Facebook, sometimes I have this out-of-body experience of watching me get paranoid, overreact, or feel down. This is also one potential symptom of my mild-to-moderate depression, and I'm mindful I've been seeing a lot of this this week. I've also noticed my clincher symptom yesterday; my eyes aren't open all the way, and I keep doing this thing where I raise eyebrows, (same as the South Pacific greeting,) to try to widen by vision. Not good.
Earlier in the year I thought I pretty much wasted my life from early 2003 to almost the end of 2010 to depression, though not continuously because I also had my most productive stretch during this time. I was seeing the light in living with mild-to-moderate depression as I learned more about it and me when I have it. I've too many pre-made warp chains so I'm determined to not go down that path.
Then I think of getting old. I know one day I'll look back and reminisce about my 53-year old self, remembering, (or imagining,) the energy, ambition, and plans, but right now, while I'm here, I don't have enough energy, I can't seem to utilize my gray sells like I used to, and what I fear most is my ambitions for my weaving have shrunk so much I can't remember what they were. Sometimes I read my blog to remind me what I had hoped to do and what I did, and then recalibrate my ambitions. And let's not get started on forgetting words!
So, where was I? I think what I was thinking this morning was that I need to tighten my belt and try not to waste so much time. Having fun is one thing, but thinking I should be doing something while doing something else I'm not particularly enjoying is silly.
I think that's where I was going with this.