Impingement Chronicles

Day 91 Week 13 Q2  Saturday, April 1, 2023

What is an artist? Artists’ MeaningPlaces are CreationLand more than ConsumptionLand. Got your attention didn’t I? Or are you in the process of running away? I guess it depends on whether you are an artist pursuing meaning. Let me unpack this phrase. My definition of an artist is someone who feels the need to emanate some sort of response when the universe impinges upon them. Life does not just happen to us; we must also happen to life. Energy comes in, and energy goes out. In some sense, expression is our most important waste product. We can emit words or art, music or inventions, or even businesses, but we are clearly doing more than consuming.

We seem to use the emission process as one that helps us to deal with the incoming. We are like transformers, taking in the impulse of sensation, observation, and sometimes understanding and, in some way, making sense of these inputs to re-emit them in a way that has more meaning for us. We are in the business of adding meaning at least for ourselves, and hoping that if things now make more sense for us, perhaps we are not alone in that feeling and that just maybe we are also adding meaning and understanding for others as well, for we are not that different from others in the desire to have meaning, jus tin the somewhat involuntary act of attempting to create it.

Are there multiple assumptions and presumptions embedded in this articulation? Of course, there are, but I am sure I am not the only one wondering what an artist is, and the people who wonder the most of all are those who suspect they may be artists but would like to have some confirmation of what they already suspect. The real question is the degree of professionalism they bring to the endeavor. Are they still free-form improvising or attempting to capture a stream-of-consciousness emanation response, or are they/we putting in the work, and yes, it is work, to refine and redefine our understandings into forms that are relevant to others besides ourselves?

This iterative turning over and around, and shaping and sculpting, what we emit until it improves our articulation enough to be emotionally relevant, is perhaps the only kind of relevance.  The attention we pay to what we think is intellectually relevant is far less than the attention we pay to what is emotionally relevant, which is why I say there is only emotional relevance and no other kind. Our decisions are more based on what we feel than on what we think. And no, I do not include only artists here; I include all humans, even those who think they are primarily intellectuals, for they act upon their feelings, which means what is emotionally relevant.   

We all involuntarily pursue meaning; artists may need to pursue it more internally than others by creating meaning within themselves.  Therefore, we often make ourselves a MeaningPlace and usually have meaning wherever we go.