Can’t believe you missed part 1, the essay everyone is talking about even though it was written 5 years ago. Link at the bottom. Catch up!
While looking through old posts, this title made me smile. Yep! That still sounds right. I think I will elaborate.
Let’s start with the point of it all, as in is there one? Is there ever a good or necessary reason to organize cooked spaghetti? I can’t think of one. Just put it on the plate and eat, right? I’ve never thought of my belly as an organizational device before but sure, that’s a good if temporary place to store cooked noodles while we strip them of nutrients. Otherwise, if there is too much, put it in Tupperware. It’s organized in the sense that it’s not co-mingling with other leftovers and I can find it again. But if I had to organize it strand by strand, it would be really hard and seem pointless. Just like art!
I think you know I don’t really find art pointless but surely you have had the experience of looking hard for this particular point and having a hard time locating it. Art is so messy and irrational. Art is mysterious and defiant. Art is useless and compelling. Art is strange and upsetting. Art is for eating, not for organizing. Art is for contemplation not for transaction.
It may be more accurate to say that justifying art making is like organizing limp noodles. It’s so easy to cook spaghetti and it’s pretty to listen to music and draw in a little book or make a face out of an evaporating water splotch on the sidewalk. The harder job to say explain to one’s self why this is a reasonable acitivity. To formulate a coherent, satisfying and convincing argument for why this process should be repeated over and over. To give one’s self a satisfactory explanation for why the resources of time and money are being used to fund so much unnecessary visual detritus.
Let’s say you did organize the heck out of those gelatinous strands of cooked Italian dough. Then what?! Would you be excited if someone very close to you, such as your very own self, informed you it would now become a regular part of the work week. Maybe.
Making the art is easy, understanding the art is hard. Justifying the art is impossible.
I make art because I don’t know how else to deal with reality.
Link to Part 1