Straightforward. Be. Straightforward. When I catch myself rambling, either while working (yes there can be run-on projects) or speaking, I have been stopping myself. Because if I’m in ramble mode, chances are high I’m procrastinating from making work. So I do less talking. (Thank God some of my friends might be saying!) The saved energy is now being transferred into working through a question so seemingly simple in itself, I used to fly right past it:
"What is taken for granted?"
I love this question. It brings me to materiality, relationships, processes of perception and gets me out of metaphor-mode. Sure examples and metaphors can add color and detail to a point, but without a point in the first place, all those colors and details become superfluous details that bore.the.shit.out.of.me. Make the details have a purpose, and I am captivated.
This question also quickly dissolves meta-narratives. Dammit, these are hard stories to shake, but I’m gonna do it. You know why, because anything I want to do, I just do it. And if I can’t I’m going to sort through whatever seems to be stopping me. When catching myself reciting narratives, I’m gonna ask the question of what’s being taken for granted, or in a cliche, what the hell is really trying to be conveyed?
So now I’m gonna leap from meaning into an ontological concern. As far as I know, this is the life I get. I was once into ideas about past or future lives. Where did I get the time or energy to entertain such notions, when I scarcely can discern whether or not reality is real. To put stuff taken for granted into example here, how many times a day do I take gravity for granted? So if that’s happening, there’s a good chance there’s a lot of other shit, particularly directly related to what I’m working on in my studio, I haven’t yet gotten a conscious grip on. The point is, I’m untangling myself-untangling myself from the meta-narratives and learning to be straightforward as possible with what I produce. This leaves more space and energy in my life for what matters most to me-and while art and career are important, what I value most is a private matter.
Finally, the idea struggle is essential to creating (anything of value) is something I am wary of, even if simply this idea seems trite in its over simplification of a complex process of being human, something that allows me to interweave my internal feeling system, emotions, mind and critical thinking abilities with actions carried out. At any given point, one of these tools can act haywire, so instead of taking it for granted or writing it off as the necessary struggle to make work, I’m looking at it. I am looking at those things I desire, create, see and seek to be seen. How much stuff is taken for granted that can be done away with? Because yeah, if this is the only shot I’ve got, might as well dig right into my contradictions.