We Make Art: A Query toward Perceptive Extension
Waking reminded –
I’ve been working over things in my sleep. Parenting issues, marriage. Vocation deadlines, assignments. Logistics and payments and scheduling. Improbable care of the self.
– that overwhelm is inevitable, inherent.
Everything we know (or surmise) about anything indicates vast beyonds unknown and ignored. In order to see, to breathe, to speak, to hear, to feel, to think, to live. We filter and avoid. Press the vast majority of the world’s availability into a void. So of course we can’t manage our world, or comprehend, even minimally control. We can barely deal with even a relatively microscopic set of variables, and those only enough to survive.
Reminded, awake then, that overwhelm is constant and inevitable. Inherent to the systems of which we are and are a part. Living is processing vastness. Essentially unscalable. And we thought bacteria were small!
So it comes as no surprise that at times we feel oppressed, drowned, immersed – helpless, confused and at loss. Pretend for a moment that we have to-dos that seem important + unforeseen and substantial grief + illness + snow days (which = a house full of ecstatic children, active and noisy and eager to be entertained) + inclement weather shuffling schedules and doctors, activities and possibilities around + limitations of time, energy and internal resources + anxiety or mood ‘disorders’ + love and high hopes + responsibilities and intentions + fears and deep hurts + a body (bodies) mind (minds) to feed and nourish +…
Too Much Information, a saturated context for the human organism. The black box crashes. The connections run slow. The screen jerky and fuzzy. Head aches, breath thickens or shallows, noise is incommensurate – the signals scramble…
At first breach, first sign of imperturb…we check in, acknowledge – perhaps argue or fight or make love (i.e. signify our overwhelm and our intensity), sit still, register what we can…
and wake up, reminded:
WE MAKE ART.
Once ground is touched, we go in (or out) – “seventh direction perception” – we begin to consciously process/perceive.
The query that sprouted is as follows: might the activity of art-a creative dialogic relation of index-sign-symbol, signifier-signifiant-and interpreter, i.e. “becoming-forth” – expand our perceptive capacities/processing?
In other words, in enacting the relationship of making, creatively, holistically, might we draw on more of the world’s availability – perceived and “dismissed” – a fuller context of experience less limited by intentional activities of categorical aims and constraints, thereby opening more of us to more of it in an open reciprocal dynamic interrelation, thereby sort of processing in “lump sums” – a gulping digestion of overwhelm?
We set aside prescribed roles, beliefs and opinions and work out, work into, an arbitrary generalized conventional (safe) medium…we fog our normalized paradigms and strictures of interpretive alertness – mores, values, expectations and censorship – we reach out gathering in. Interact. It seems something larger is carried, is moved – more than the medium, more than ourselves, more of a context, a world.
Does art extend our perceptive capacities? Our scope of perception – to process, to be? A kind of open-boundaried passage of experiencing between organism and world?