Monday, August 23, 2010
Caleb and I were playing around with some 4X5 Polaroids the other day. The film itself is not produced anymore, and the stuff he had was a score - a partial payment for some barter work he did a while back. The film was expired, and it all came out with this creepy ethereal ghost-line through the middle.
Before digital cameras, Polaroids used to represent immediate documentation. The instant freezing of a fleeting moment in time. The fact that the film is not produced anymore and the eerie effect of the expired film got me to thinking about documentation and ephemera. Everything is so hyper-recorded right now, it's become the norm. Of course a country founded on Protestant Christianity is obsessed with the idea of eternity (specifically the eternal body and personality) but I can't help thinking the prevalence of documentation lulls us into a false sense of permanence, and that can lead to complacency, fear, and/or dullness.
In fact, more and more, I'm finding my friends and I consciously choose NOT to take pictures of really special events or moments, as if allowing the moment to exist in time and pass without being ravaged by Facebook and Tumblr was some sort of holy ritual. Even five years ago, it was the special moments that you were sure to snap pictures of.
The world of art and the artist is changing completely. When I began this blog, I had no idea most of the things I have done in the past three years were even possible. It's the Wild West in the working artist world right now, and we're all out there trying to navigate this wilderness while being true(ish) to our forms of expression.
My friend Jenee got back from tour a couple of weeks ago with nowhere to live. I offered her my bed and she seemed so shocked, but it was just the natural, right thing to do. So many people helped me while I was on the road, and all of us artists need to look out for one another.
It's never going to go back to the way it used to be. It's extremely hard, but it is possible now to make a living as an artist on your own. The difference is we artists need to support each other instead of cutting each other down. The old competitive, back-stabbing attitude just doesn't work anymore. There's enough room for everyone now.