Reading about ephemeral ways to communicate on the internet today. What can ever truly ever be ephemeral though? A face to face conversation. We rely on our memory, sometimes faulty, to make sense of these exchanges. Once things are recorded outside of what is in our minds and hearts, the result can be both something to treasure and something to loathe.
When I think about things I make, I think of them in the immediate sense. To me they are meaningful when I am making them. Afterward, they are an interesting echo, a shadow, an impression, a ghost.
When what I make is something useful, it seems to serve a right to exist because it is useful. Keeping clean prevents parasites from making a home on your skin, your hair, or other parts of your body. Putting on perfume just makes you feel good for that time that you are aware of its scent. Knitting a hat or scarf lasts for a while, you wear it till it falls apart or can’t be mended, it keeps you warm and dry against the elements. Making a painting expresses how you feel in the moment. You may put it on a wall and remember. It may do something color-wise or shape-wise to that wall. For a time – the time that you are sensitive to when you were making it. That is, if you want to remember.
I still knit. I still like to make useful things. I still take photos, make videos, to make me feel better at that moment. I can cover myself with a blanket I made and feel happy that it keeps me warm. But photos, videos – what I make tends to express something that at that moment, makes me feel relief. But the subject, the memory of it, why I had to express it, in what way I had to express it, what I was feeling at the moment I made it – this passes. And if it stays, the sentiment is not necessarily one I want to relive.
I have a need for both these kinds of making. I’m just not really sure what I’m supposed to do with the more “ephemeral” one. As I make little galleries on this site to hold those photos, to hold those videos, I see them together and much of it creates a tidal wave of emotion that I want to throw into the garbage and never relive. Does somebody want this stuff, so I don’t have to think about it anymore? I create it compulsively, it flies out of my head and my hands every day, all this emotion which would otherwise have no place to go. Using it in my work is releasing it constructively, but once it’s out, I don’t want to view it and therefore let even some of it back in. Yet it is so personal in a way, that I wonder whether it is useful to anyone except myself while I am making it.
So I think about living like a conversation. Not carrying any of these flowers behind me, dying or already dead in ever growing burlap sacks, a burden to me. Is this how one should approach the selling of one’s work? If one makes things, does one ever not keep anything that one makes?
Something to act on. If I can summon the courage to. Living without a recorded past, recorded by yourself, is a challenge in this day and age when there are so many technological microphones, attached to backed up servers, carefully preserved by people you either pay, or not, to archive it all.
I think that before I do anything hasty, I should really make a project of printing ALL my most worthwhile images out, putting them in books, and that will be that. For as long as that will physically last. Make them, move on, with the assumption that only a handful of people I personally know will want copies.