Art and Conversation
May 5, 2011 1 Comment
Have been thinking of high art and low art, and the in betweens. You and I come from the academic tradition, and this tradition celebrates the makers of fine things. Thus, the MFA. Thus, John Cage and Gaddis and many people that we actually know, and who we also like to drink with and smile at. I have always stopped short at the creation and criticism of the heavy/complex: of the things that are so whacked out that, while they might be breaking boundaries, they are also the sole voice into the void which they create and map by sonar alone. And, with blogging and my own approach to fiction, I am starting to realize what this distinction is. Why I don’t value the avante as much as others, and why they might look at what I do with a pat “cuteness” as if I am scrapbooking while they are sculpting raw emotion. (Oh shit, scrapbookers, I think what you do is mighty. Forgive the example!).
They don’t care if the cake is edible. I want delicious cake that I can eat forever. I love talking about things besides cake with people who make good cake. Like, come to my house because the cake is so good (I lured you there! ha ha! cakebait!), but then, tell me about the Vatican astronomers, or about how tourism is an ethical quagmire. I think art/cake’s most powerful moment is exchange, cuz that makes, get ready–I’m about to drop a huge broad word that is so sappy it will make your teeth hurt more than icing–compassion. And you get more exchange if you make more. Thus, internetting is wonderful. I am done with writers thinking that blogging is small potatoes to noveling or poetic experiments. I get more conversation and readers and actual ideas by doing more, and by being less concerned about the deep sweat of it all. In a sense, fuck publishing. There’s no money in it, and if you aren’t going for money, then you might as well go for making by making and making. And if anybody is going to be snide about what kind of making anybody is doing, then I want a carpet, the loudest most calling up on carpet ever.
Let’s be wickedly proud of what we write and where we write it. Let’s blame them (those who suggest we are quaint hobbyists) for not getting it. We have readers who read us because they are interested in our ideas! We read other people because they are eloquent and smart and writing about things that make us angry or take our breath away! The exchange is times a thousand. Google Reader does more for me than AWP ever did, and is diverse and lovely and not sweaty. Let’s write novels and blogs and essays and lists that have glimmery lives in links or word documents. There are lots of way to make new maps.
That is winning the workshop.
And now, please, run around your living room with your hands in the air, pumping them up and down to the chant “we win! we win!”
And now back to regular programming.