Communication as a solution to art
is watering a rose.
Art as a solution to communication
is dropping a cut rose
into a bucket of water.
[Note: Some will find this one difficult to understand. A simpler way to say it is that communication underlies art, not vice versa. Art does not resolve difficulties with communication. Communication resolves difficulties with art. For example, a writer with writer's block can unjam that block by improving his communication with himself and others and reviving his willingness to communicate. Trying to break through the block by forcing creativeness is far more complex and far less effective.
Writers, painters, dancers, actors -- all reach outwards, put something "out there" for others to receive and to which others can contribute. (Teaching an artist that he creates for him/herself alone is a great way to destroy an artist. But even someone who fancies he creates for himself is communicating, if only to himself, eager to see what he has to say to himself.) What, then, happens to the art of a person who is withholding himself from others? I imagine it becomes shallow or obscure or hideous: Shallow if he tries to say lovely things while holding back ugliness; obscure if he tries to hide from himself and others exactly what he is saying (art as encryption); hideous as an attempt to make his audience go away. Some of it may yet be striking, but he won't be able to continue it for long, because he feels he is doing something he shouldn't be doing.
It's true a man after an argument with his wife or lover, may get back in communication by sending her a poem, but only because it's a communication. Improving the art of the poem will not likely improve the outcome.
I'm sure you can think of many examples of both sides of this.
Over 40 years ago, I heard a talk where a speaker told an audience something about the importance of communication. This was on a college campus. A student in the audience stood up and started screaming at the top of his lungs, "You don't communicate with the motherfuckers!! You stand the motherfuckers up against the wall!!!" -- thrusting his arms out over his head as he yelled and jerking around as if he, himself, were being machine-gunned.
He had a vision. He was a campus hero who'd burned his draft card and was expecting to spend some time in jail. We seem to be living in his dark vision, since it is shared by those he would have stood against the wall and machine-gunned.
What lack of good communication can destroy, renewal of good communication can bring back to life.]
http://deanotations.blogspot.com (short poems)
http://dearreader08.blogspot.com (essays and longer poems)
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