So yeah, I don't know how many of you stay in touch with me exclusively via LJ. A lot of my posts lately have had the heading like "oh shit, livejournal". Between twitter and tumblr, there hasn't been much cause to use it! I've been reading everyone's posts daily but still, it's a bit of a wasteland compared to what it used to be.
That's kind of nice, it means it's easier to post about stuff that almost nobody is going to read!
So it's my thesis year, and I've just recently given up on my earlier plan, which involved an interactive play. I like the idea, still, but I don't have the social capital to attract the crowds necessary to make it work. It's a really hard decision to make, I've been wanting to make this piece for a long time. But practical concerns of attendance being what they are, it's just not in the cards for reasons beyond my control. SUCKS.
So now I'm faced with the problem of not knowing what I'm going to do, exactly, besides a body of smaller works, rather than one ambitious installation. That's about as specific as I've gotten, unfortunately. I have a direction, but I'm not really sure how it translates into art yet.
Let's just say we live in a postmodern, increasingly posthuman age. We've levelled so much criticism at all the institutions and grand narratives that we don't know who to believe anymore. Science is suspect, so we see a rise in alternative medicine and criticism of evolution and global warming. Governments are corrupt, so we see the Tea Party. Religion is suspect, and we have the so-called New Atheists. At the same time, we pour ourselves into fiction. Fan cultures are exploding into the mainstream. People wear scarves in the color of their favorite Hogwarts house. Among young artists, at least in Toronto, there's a preoccupation with anxiety, fear, the mechanization of society, pop-culture icons and a return to the more comforting aspects of childhood. The millennials, perhaps more than Gen-X, are being asked to shoulder the burdens and consequences of the industrial revolution. Pollution, global warming, globalization, even just the routine of the workday. We're all going to be there and in charge when shit gets worse. Fuck that noise.
So we're caught up in whimsy, alternative realities, and a sort of selective, mature sister of infantilism. Many people would see this as a retreat, but what if it's a vanguard? What if, through our actions, we aim to bring the sort of magic of the books we read, of the movies we watch, of the music we listen to, here into the real world? What if Disneyland started to melt out onto the highways, down back alleys, into our bedrooms, as if it were more than just the sale of blankets, hats and other tchotchkes? And uh, what's the point of that, anyway? Is the world going to be easier to deal with? I dunno, but it seems to be happening! We want it to happen! Why?
In a world where Sarah Palin could have been a skipped heartbeat away from being in charge of the United States (lol John McCain is old), or where James Cameron's AVATAR can induce depression, where it's becoming more and more difficult to tell the difference between CG and live action, we need to remap where our boundaries between real and fake lie. Not by rejecting artifice, but by sincerely appraising it with a skeptical heart. To understand the difference between "what's real to me" and the evidence-based practice of science. To acknowledge our desire for immersion in truthiness without sacrificing truth.
I'm not sure where to go with all that.