Thursday, August 1, 2013

Time Based Art

A friend observed that while as a rule he tended to move forward to what was in front of him, I was more circular, reflective and in process of the past. Not a moral judgment, he says. I should say not. The past is not even past, I am more convinced than ever. I need room to reflect and savor what happened.

Perhaps this is rooted in a childhood in the country. I lived on a dirt road which met another dirt road. You come across someone or something on a dirt road, it matters. It could be monumental, processed over days and night, in your imagination, whether it is a toad, a snake, a waterfall, a boy.

In New York I would always say: “Everything matters here.” But maybe the opposite was true.

And all throughout my childhood, I learned about art. Art was and is experiential, a part of the reflective process and way of life. Art is not an object. Great art you can experience time and time again with new responses and information coming your way.  I used to think that museums in great cities provided the ultimate lesson in what art provides, but I've changed my mind on that. In my case, I could get it out of a book or a magazine out in the middle of nowhere and did for years.

So this idea of visitation and re-visitation showed me what a time-based experience all great visual art (among other things) is. There is no finite to a great work of art, no static existence. In fact if you know it well enough, the exploration continues within your mind. And it will change, perform and evolve as you do, throughout a lifetime.

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