Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Capitalist Artist

In finding a solution to any problem, we access all corners of our experience. We analyze pros and cons, ifs and if nots, consequences, reactions, long term, short term, ripple effect, personal gain/loss, and the list goes on. I believe there to be fundamentally two kinds of problems: those centered around smoothing bumps in the condition of humans in relation to themselves and eachother (i.e. medicine, law, engineering, accounting, etc.) and the expression and analysis of the human condition (writing, teaching, music, art, etc.). All of these people have a set of variables before them with which they must reference all facts and opinions and prior experience to determine the shape of their solution. The problems that the professionals of our society solve have a large appeal to the masses due to their incessant necessity throughout history. Even the simplest of minds must still walk around in a body who gets sick with pockets more readily emptied than filled on bridges traversed by many. As we as a society increase our baseline total of information exponentially, however, the problems faced by many become solvable by more. This means we are on average healthier, more wealthy, and more innovative than we ever could have been before. This leads to the, in my opinion, more complicated problems centered about the human condition. The authority of authority is slowly dissolved in a pool of unlimited, unbiased information and debate. The expansion of consiousness is taken on by many as a genuine pursuit, a genuine movement and reckoning. This mentality swept the nation in the late sixties, and the world was changed. People became disenchanted with authority and enchanted with the power of their own voice and we saw revolution on every front. Civil Liberty, psychedelics, free love, intellectual counter culture, and music seeping of genuis were our rewards for finding our own answers and solutions. Change was made, pockets were full, brains were awakened, and bodies were fit. Where a well-earned period of rest and enjoyment was in order, the professionals remained professional, and the rest of us took a nice long swig of apathy. The new nation was disenchanted instead by their suddenly full pockets and the unexpected knocks of vanity knocked us into a decade of decadence. Thankfully, glamour is only fun in the short term, and after a sobering decade of moderates and levelheads, we've found our way back to a quest for enlightenment. The professionals are still professional, technology still double by the day, but now the people solving the latter of the two problems have learned professionalism also. Enter the capitalist artist.

People no longer wait for their big break. They are as big as they are brave enough to be. The internet has removed the gatekeeper on so many venues and veins of expertise, that we who spend our lives trying to explain ourselves and eachother to us both can find eachother more readily, skip the making of the same mistakes by learning from eachothers mistakes, and reach out to more audience than ever before. Not only are we passionate about our respective arts, but we also know about things like credit, saving, investing, debt, advertising, networking, marketing and all the other beauties of the one profession that binds us all: business. If you choose to ignore the easily accessible information and philosophy about business and economy, then you choose the overworn coat of the starving artist.

Innovate always, question everything, research, discuss, jump with all four limbs, and know that if you can keep yourself full of air and kicking, you will not sink too far. When all of the problem solvers solve most of their devised problems, when we run out of hypothesi to prove, it is in between the traditional pursuits of intelligence that we will find a whole new realm of life waiting for the fresh air of ponderance and questioning. What would we find if we combined physics and philosophy, creative writing and anthropology, art and engineering? What happens

I believe in being too smart to be inpoverished and too enlightened to be unhappy. Therefore what I make of my own success is of my own choosing. This is the power of the capitalist artist.

On a lighter more ceramicized note, this video is of Josh burnishing one of his first pots with a stone from colorado, this is a technique used by many potters to improve the surface of their creations to accentuate their glazing and firing choices. Some of my favorite pots ever are burnished saggar-fired vessels.

Thanks for reading,

peace in pieces

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