Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Art Sucks

Yesterday on the phone my dad asked (as he usually asks) "Well, what do you see happening in your life now?" I answered with my usual "oh...I don't know...I like it here...I could see myself being here...I could see myself leaving" non-committal bullshit that I usually disseminate. It's actually not entirely bullshit. The fact of the matter is that I am in a good place with things and while, yes, I see that change is on the horizon, I also see that the horizon could be anywhere from one to ten (to twenty?) years off.

We live in a lie of a society that tells us one of the stages in life is "settling down." Thing is, not one person I know is "settled." We are always changing all of the time. The second you stop changing, life starts getting real boring. So part of me doesn't really see the point in rushing into making a decision about the "next stage of my life" when this one is suiting me just fine.

OK OK...there's more to it then that. It's that Art Sucks. I feel like it's this illusion that taunts me something terrible. A sexy dress revealing a fleshy thigh on some western road asking for a ride but when you pull over there's no person there. Just some heat rising from the asphalt. Every time I try to pin=point it, figure out what it is, where I fit into it, I feel like it dissolves in my fingers.

I get uncomfortable around words like "art," "artist," etc. Who the fuck am I to claim something I can't define? And the prospect of pursuing such an invisible rainbow does not sit well with my hard-lined capricornian ideas of how things are supposed to exist.

Then again. There is nothing that makes me happier than that terrifying flirtation with a blank piece of paper. Is there anything sexier than running your fingers down the spine of some invisible thought that shivers out of the ether to spread itself out before you? I can't fathom an existence without that feeling. But I'm scared to commit to something so inconclusive.

And that's not even getting into the bullshit that comes along with being in the art world. The SCENE, the PEOPLE, the lack of community and that depressing realization that it's every man for himself and that each one thinks more highly of themselves than you could ever imagine. That conviction you MUST have in the face of adversity. What a tricky temptress this thing is.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My New Favorite

Her name is Lucy Mclauchlan and I think her stuff is beautiful.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Strange that it is the stillness of this moment that makes me want to play something loud, say something loud, smash something loud, make the moment heard- remove the pillow, lift my head above the water, open my mouth wide and...what am I supposed to say? An empty need for noise that gets buried under logic. I know we all yearn to scream.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

variation on a theme

I have been thinking since yesterday about my last post. This isn't a negation of the previous post, but an addition to.

The conclusion that I have come to is this: the "hipster" doesn't really exist the way in which we talk about it. The reason why no one wants to claim that identity for themselves is because hipster means mindless following of trends, blind consumerism, apathy, inaction, etc...no one really wants to accept that as something that defines them. While there may be entire groups of people that follow this life-style, something tells me it more describes the aspects of our own lives that we are uncomfortable with.

I had a conversation with a puppeteer about something kind of similar. He was grungy, punked-out, and completely involved with and aware of today's issues. I was frustrated at the general state of things and talked about how our society attaches to aesthetics first, before ideals. And today, businesses and advertising agencies are so good at what they do, they spot an aesthetic trend (that may or may not be a reflection of an ideology), and they sell it. So the movement kind of stops there. All of the sudden you have an entire fleet of people wearing shirts that say "punk's not dead" and having no clue why they're wearing it. So when you stand up to talk about DIY culture, all anyone sees is an H&M ad. So that annoyed me. Dave responded by saying "It's not about trends or aesthetics. It never has been. When a group of people start relying on fashion as opposed to ideas, there was nothing there in the first place."

What I got out of that is this: we are an image-based society. No question. But perhaps the goal has always been and should always be that it doesn't matter whether you're drinking a PBR and look like you're wearing an American Apparel shirt, what matters is what you're doing with your life. What choices are you making? What things do you hold dear?

Which brings me back to my original point. There are no hipsters because "hipster" is an image-based term. You could point to me on one day and say I'm a hipster because I'm wearing black jeans, but my lifestyle does not match up with the ideological wasteland that we associate with that term. What hipster is, is that little "cool" microbe living inside of us that makes us nervous. That makes us wish we could just say "fuck it, I'm going to be ironic for the rest of my life, instead of doing something interesting with my time." No one person does this completely because if anyone did, there'd be a growing void of anything interesting in the world and they'd surely die of boredom. Even the most classic "hipster" must actually DO something. This, in my mind, means they are not a hipster, because to me, that term necessarily requires inaction.

We all are a part of this thing and want to outsource our apathetic guilt and so label as many other people with it as possible. Maybe that guy with the plastic rimmed glasses and trendy haircut is actually doing more to better the world than you. But you can at least point him out in a crowd, label him, and feel better about yourself.

The solution? Be who you be. And never stop being involved with the world. We'll always want to be cool. But the sooner we realize that's a meaningless construct, the better (I know, I know, I'll keep dreaming). What matters is what you're doing with your life- not how you chose to dress in the morning (unless of course what you're wearing is undermining global economies and generally harming the world. Sorry- had to put it in there).

Friday, August 01, 2008

perhaps every generation feels this way....

"We are a lost generation, desperately clinging to anything that feels real, but too afraid to become it ourselves. We are a defeated generation, resigned to the hypocrisy of those before us, who once sang songs of rebellion and now sell them back to us. We are the last generation, a culmination of all previous things, destroyed by the vapidity that surrounds us. The hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture so detached and disconnected that it has stopped giving birth to anything new."

From Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization

Ah the hipster- that strange cultural anomaly that every knows exists but that no one will claim for themselves. I wonder if it can even be fully explained. Anyway- this article sort of sums up that feeling of impending cultural doom I sometimes get when I go to Dolores Park on a Sunday. That "do any of us actually care about anything" sort of feeling. And I think we do, but each generation turns against the generation before it. And perhaps we're still in the backlash against the DIY years. And probably when other counterculture movements came around, there was some other group of people that everyone pointed to, criticizing their apathy and mass consumption. So it's probably a little harsh to say that this group in particular is going to destroy culture. Maybe that's giving them more power than "they" have or even want. Moreover, since it is an embarrassing label that no one choses for themselves, maybe we should all look to that inner hipster within ourselves and find out where our values actually are.