Sunday, January 14, 2018

100th Post: "The Gauntlet Manifesto"

I thought I'd take the occasion of the 100th installment of the Gauntlet of Balthazar to post a little artistic manifesto that I feel defines where I stand as an artist, how I relate to other artists, and where I believe art stands in its overall relation to society.

So, without further ado...the GAUNTLET MANIFESTO.

The creative impulse is the most primal human drive following our innate survival instinct, and the desire to endeavor to act is hard coded and tethered to this impulse. It is written in our genes, it jumps from one firing synapse to the other, and it is embodied within each and every composite cell that makes up our forms. It courses about our bodies within our blood and radiates in heat and sweat. It is pure energy when accessed in pure intention, and when we are at our most pliant, it connects us to other realms of existence. It allows us to channel simulations of artistic perfection through the miasma that separates our physical world from the other planes of existence.

When ever we hunt, grow, plan, build, procreate, pursue, desire, capitalize, design, write, paint, play, formulate a business, or invent, these are all elemental parts of the creative impulse, derived from the cellular makeup of existence. Every human who lives, has lived, or will live, possesses this potential, and every human can understand or learn from creative endeavors by interacting with them.

Some humans may have convinced themselves that they do not possess the technical or craft skill of a self-proclaimed or trained artist, but nonetheless, they have preferences, appreciation, and are capable of being emotionally moved by art or song and can understand anything born of creativity, as they themselves are products and participants in the universal cycle and recycle of creativity.

Creativity is measurable by output of intention and may be seen manifested in sparks of scintilla and the epiphany of idea. However, this supple transfer of universal energy is no more than an access port into the ever-running stream of intangible creativity which moves through and all about us, which is  called "process".

Art in all of its forms is the result of measurable creativity born in the process of creation. Yet, in this, the artist is nothing. The artist is but a conduit for the transfer of creative energy from process into craft.

Craft requires skill and trained talent, yet craft defines output and frames art, process and creativity by the empirical standard known as talent. All art must be judged by empirical standards of talent. To judge art simply by metrics of creative impulse and self-definition is to lose sight of the role of artist in relation to society, and trivializes the contribution of true art, overshadowing it through self-aggrandizement, overt hubris and cultural narcissism.

Art should be viewed firstly by a criteria of talent, but such an evaluation may be thereafter tempered by secondary considerations of intention, creativity, process, and other societal norms that art may break , bend, or conform to in order to posit the creation as a valid artistic statement. Thus, by this metric there is no such thing as "art for art's sake", there is only "creativity for creativity's sake", and faulty art may be freely disparaged for the meaningless posturing that much modern art is guilty of.

Vacuous and technically weak, these virtue signaling ramblings can at their best be viewed as elements in a larger interactive performance art, or as a self-aware sham or inverse troll, rather than as stand-alone statements reflecting greater human aspirations and endeavors, technical skill or talent, and wholly unique, directed, and inspired artworks.

Therefore, art must be functional and serve a purpose. Those purposes are in the hands of the individual artist, but if the artist abuses the process and only makes art for the self, or like-minded peers, the artist has already failed in the prime factor that art is meant to interact with the larger "non-artistic" public.

Laugh at art. Love it when it succeeds, and berate it when it is faulty, or fails completely. State your opinion out loud and smash the fascism of obscurantism and cultural conformity. Art is neither holy nor sacrosanct, and is not meant to be consumed only by an effete elitist class, or those who aspire to join their ranks. Museums should not be delicately trodden through like tombs where hushed silence prevails, and onlookers gaze in studied deferential solemnity, belittling themselves in the face of so-called giants.

Till next time.

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