ESSAY IN RESPONSE TO SEAN SMUDA'S ESSAY IN RESPONSE TO T.A.T
There is a liminal space nestled somewhere between apathy and empathy, between youth and age that allows time to compress itself in such a way where I truly believe you can live a year in a day, or a month in a minute. If you can’t be the room; let me at least show you the room. Let’s make room for the room; let the room show itself. We often take pictures so we can look at them later, preferring nostalgia for lived experience. Photographs allow us a type of safe, neutral distance that falling down in front of someone simply does not afford. Nostalgia, as I understand it, is a mix of pain and the notion of “home” and the only antidote is a combination of wanderthurst and a brutal attitude about the importance of the preservation and exalting of the present moment in an effort towards the
dissolution of the ties between action and the production of meaning.
I felt that Temporary Action Theory succeeded in highlighting the ultimate vanity of the impossibility of truly accepting things for what they are. Life can be painful and also boring. To reach people, you have to put something on the line. You show others that you are vulnerable and that you don’t have any answers, but rather the unquenchable desire to continue to ask questions. You show others that it is possible to give and expect nothing in return. You show others that you might not know exactly know what to do or how to behave with a seven foot tall emerald eight. You show others that you are not afraid to tear up space and put old beliefs behind you, even if you stood by them firmly. The bravery it takes to admit that you have no idea what to do and you are willing to embarrass yourself to prove it.
I believe this to be a crucial aspect of generative and affective works, aided by the blend of compassion, empathy, and not taking your-self too seriously. One must not pay too much creed to the image you wish others had of you. Life, as it seems, might be about truly coming to terms with who you are, and what you have to offer. This allows you to produce images and experiences for others that they couldn’t possibly be prepared for, as opposed to making works that merely reek derivatively. Typically, we commit to actions that we think will be a catalyst for change. But other times we simply act, and certainly incorrectly, because we all constantly repress so much that sometimes you need to sing to a brick wall. And then scream at the wall. And then destroy the wall. When we entrench ourselves in only our personal emotional survival, at a certain point, we become accomplice to the larger problems in the sense that we become bound to our egos and unable to see the forest for the trees. If you never worry about having a forest however, and marvel instead at the glory of just one tree, objectively, who knows, you might be able to hear it when it falls, especially if no one else is around.