I suppose I’m on the journey of the hermit again.
I’ve read many articles about social media, selling your work, blah blah blah. I don’t like any of it. What am I looking for? Does what I look for exist (I’d say no)? Where am I going with all this? Can I just keep going in my own idiosyncratic way (yes)? Do I have to have an end “goal,” or is art a spiritual journey for me where that spiritual aspect cannot be distracted with all The Usual?
The fact is, what I love to do most – non-commercial, experimental moving images – has no real concrete place, neither in the market, nor in the minds of most people. It exists for sure, in a world that can probably be characterized as being as small and well, as weird as an antiquarian society. But this rarified environment is not where I want my work to be stuck in. I’m not interested in even trying to become a big known quantity in that rarified castle. Frankly, I have always found environments which are too narrowly focused to be stifling. I always run away from them.
Breathing freely for me has always meant being in a diverse and therefore, vibrant environment. Each party interacts with the other, there is an exchange, and new ideas come out of that. How is having your work typecast foster that? It doesn’t. It puts you and your work in a cultural ghetto. Because it’s easier – “they” tell you – to get it seen (bought) that way.
It is difficult to form such diverse groups, in fact. As in many areas of society, birds of a feather stick together. And in the U.S., the dollar is King. Commerce is IT.
I am lucky in that in my current job, I’ve been recently given the opportunity to contribute in an artistic way, my own way, to a dialogue which is beneficial for the public good. At the same time, my work is anonymous, part of the crowd. The focus of my work is the larger message, not ME, as the artist of it. When everything on the internet and all these networks are all about talk about, sell YOU, I get to make work which is focused on the message that my work effectively delivers. This is above commerce, above celebrity, and therefore above what all these other art promotion/sales vehicles made by other people are doing. Being anonymous allows the work to deliver the message without all the stuff which is such a status thing in the U.S.
I still take photos almost daily out of habit. I share very few of them now. I’m adjusting to my decision to stop the endless posting to social networks, where these networks reap the benefit of my steady engagement, to let me breathe. Let me breathe so I can do my work in the sphere of just doing my work, with no thought of any other reason for doing it, except that I need to. And that is has nothing to do with $$$$$ or fame.