"Naw, that'd take way too long to come out," I shoot back from my chair at Caffea.
And in a hyperdrive world, ain't that the truth. I'm not sure I'm the same sack of cells, tissues and sinews that I was last week. I'm pretty certain some moments that it's only because you tell me it's so that this moment's bead is strung together in a rainbow link chain like the beaded necklaces thrown yesterday on Royal Street to the next moment's, but I'm not really so sure. And I definitely don't believe what I did in 2006.
It's not just me. Look around. Thus I believe this is an age appropriate to ephemeral art. (And I'd rather not define that. Let it be it be an open mystery for a while.)
Ephemera can reek of negative connotations. That which is not lasting, or worth lasting, perhaps. (Have you ever noticed cut flowers in a vase in your dining room are ephemeral?)Cultural critics hurl the epithet "ephemera" as a degrading term.
"This Web 2.0 thing has been brewing for fifty years ever since Marshall McLuhan, the subversive founder of digital media studies, told us in 1964 that the medium is the message. I believe that all the most corrosive ideals and moral assumptions of the last thirty years -- the soft, druggy relativism of the Sixties counterculture and the libertarian Nineties exuberance have merged, in the Web 2.0 movement, to create an ideological cult of individual empowerment, creativity, and community...[Oh, no, not creativity and community!] But the truth of this "authenticity" is the cacophonous din of ephemera: The self-authored content on the contemporary Internet is either irreverent, narcissistic or pornographic (or, as in Web 2.0 sites like Voyeurweb, simultaneously all three)." - SF Chronicle Guest Blogger Andrew Keen
Yay, long live ephemera!
In New Orleans, I meet artists of all kinds everyday. It's not everyone that protests, but I have given up defending blogging as an art form: "That's not writing," shoots back the poet at the gallery opening a few weeks ago. He doesn't read blogs though. And he's still pissed at a friend that wrote something about their dinner on her blog for the whole wide world to peruse.
Whatever. I'm doing this no-writing thing or whatever ya callit anyhow...
"What if you lost all your blog archives?" I'm asked.
I shrug: "There's more where that came from."
Anyhow, that's a long winded way of introducing the topic and my love affair with ephemeral art. I'm sensing this exchange says a lot about the present future of 'art' too:
Doug [Aitken]: The weight of film production is a heavy one. We're coming into a new era of lightness and nomadism, where a sixteen-year-old with a Mac can direct, shoot, and cut a film. I'm interested in seeing how this changes the Hollywood studio system.
Matthew [Barney]: Hollywood blockbuster films are so over the top, they have become something else entirely. Like you, I am interested in either end of the spectrum. It is everything in the middle -- the straight-on storytelling stuff -- that I am not really that interested in, like so-called independent film. - from Broken Screen: 26 Conversations Expanding the Image Breaking the Narrative With Doug Aitken, by Doug Aitken
p.s. It's surreal to read a comment today referencing one of my posts written way back in September 16, 2004. Well, had I submitted a manuscript on September 16, 2004 there would be a good chance that it'd be on bookshelves now. And Whoa! it'd be off the mark in terms of what I'm into these days.
Also, the feedback loop dynamism of this medium is vital. I'm not communicating to dead compressed piece of wood chips chemically treated to look like flat ivory parchment as when I write in the journal, nope, I'm communing with you. And I actually know a lot of you face to face. Yes, that makes all the difference in the world.
Tucked in that ancient 2004 post are two quotes that also reveal that at the core essence of our soul purpose, "the more things change, the more they stay the same". Those quotes are:
"After all is said and done, after all of our grand self-actualization and accomplishments, our self-esteem and degrees, our meaning-making and our financial success - we still feel lonely. What drives us in the world is our attempt to move from our loneliness to a place of relationship, connection, and loving. Our soul prints [our essential unique selves] seek to reach out to the prints of other souls - to touch them, and to be touched by them in turn. The more our soul prints connect, the sharper their signatures, and the more sustained and expansive our souls will be. Our soul prints are driven to other soul prints... Nothing is more important to us than the need to share our lives with another...to imprint and be imprinted upon." - Soul Prints, by Marc Gafni
"We have faith in the potentialities of others, of ourselves, and of mankind because, and only to the degree which, we have experienced the growth of our own potentialities, the reality of growth in ourselves, the strength of our own power of reason and of love." - Erich Fromm
images Joan Cox' Angel Trumpet Dance - the ephemeral angel trumpet flowers are lovely here (yep, still in New Orleans); Georges Clairin's Portrait of Sarah Bernhardt (seen at current NOMA exhibit) I admire Sarah Bernhardt, something about live theater has totally captivated me of late; so I was happy to luck into a six-week ten-minute play writing class taught in the Quarter