Common Art

July 16, 2008 | 1 Comment

Category: Art, Society, Web

The American cult of individuality represents the limit of how far a culture can go and not self destruct as every individual is required to make sacrifices to the furnace of self importance.  We are so focused on protecting the rights of individuals that individual rights are denied to achieve this goal.  Obviously paradoxical, it also seems ironic.  Republicans, with Democrat complicity, demand the sacrifice of the commons that serve individuals so that there are no constraints on individual behavior.  Destroying the commons, we destroy our community and destroy ourselves.

This war against the commons–the environment, social security, world community, social services–to believers in the cult feels like a war against absorption of the individual by the many.  This cult is fueled by capitalists, by fundamentalists, by SUV owners, by Americans that buy the pitch that lower taxes serve all.  Providing the words and pictures that make the stories that prop up the cult are the members of the media, script writers, ad writers, article composers, architects, designers, novelists and artists.

Artists in America and the West have been saddled with a paradoxical profession.  Asked to provide a pathway between where we are and our origins and destination as a culture, the artist has been asked to both portray extreme independence to the point of eccentricity while at the same time depict what connects us all.  Artists in most cultures explore the relationship between being human and that from which we come.  In the United States, artists are additionally required to explore the American obsession with self.  Of course, the artist is a tortured artist.  Experiencing what it is to be alienated or alone, he or she achieves insight into the cult.

The cult is dying.  Art is changing.  Again, the end is looping around to the beginning.

Dance, song and percussion were the original arts, communal arts, arts engaged in by the group.  Encouraged by new technologies and the web, group art is following paths being blazed by horizontal communications, transparency and the diversity characteristic of the Internet.  The medium nurtures experimentation in numerous artists’ media, creating bridges at increasingly rapid rates of expansion.  Bridges span academic and spiritual disciplines, artistic media, cultures and generations.  The bridges connect individuals.  Instead of exploring only what it is like to feel alone, artists can explore the experience of feeling embraced.  More importantly, he or she can engage in this exploration while with people.

Twenty years ago, words were written in a vacuum.  Blogging is a communal activity.  No longer is art about being alone.  America is maturing.  We are headed toward the commons.  America’s artists, working together, are offering their services as guides.


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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 at 6:53 am and is filed under Art, Society, Web. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
1 Comment so far

  1. United-States » Common Art on July 26, 2008 5:32 pm

    […] Common ArtArtists in most cultures explore the relationship between being human and that from which we come. In the United States, artists are additionally required to explore the American obsession with self. Of course, the artist is a tortured … […]

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