Friday, August 28, 2009

Revising Reality

Reality, through no fault of its own, is being revised to a fault.  Much of the revision comes from those who need and/or want to be told what reality represents.  A lesser quantity of the revision comes from artists, who define themselves by the act of defining reality.

The more the artist has defined an individual reality, the closer that artist comes to being a true individual.  From the moment the artist has begun this definition, vision begins to bud and ultimately blossom, and faith is pushed away from center stage.  Vision is informed by characters and their inherent ideas, bringing on stage (or easel or page) contrary visions, the better to confront, challenge, and inspire revision.

We all of us exist in some stage of revision, be it an upward or downward path.  The former induces growth to the point where ideas and visions emerge freshly into the reality, colliding in much the same manner as particles in a nuclear accelerator, producing in the wake of the collision new elements--fresh connections--that invite pursuit.  The latter induces entropy and/or surrender to orthodoxy of some faith, -ism, or conventional vision.

Convention, if not the overt enemy of the artistic inquiry, is the ballast, helping to keep inquiry from raising too high. Convention is the manner by which we attempt to bring reality under control.  The moment we presume to control reality, the more we give up our individuality.  Convention is to be abandoned with a what if? purpose in mind.  If this convention is abandoned, then this product or result will be the product.  If convention is overly maintained, protected, seen as an end, it will repeat itself into parody which means a good many unsuspecting victims will be harmed by the seemingly insurmountable forces of stasis and status quo.

Tempting as it may be, repetition leads to the self-parody of us making fun of ourselves by determining, as some of the Romans who aspired to godhood did, that more of the same is not only acceptable, it is desirable.  Because we can guarantee the outcome of heating water to 212 Fahrenheit degrees as sea level, it is not a license to be content with other guaranteed outcomes.

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