Page 8 - November 2020
P. 8

                                                                                       November 2020


                                                         There is a whole ecosystem that the ‘artist’
                  At Crater Lake                        is  inextricably  entangled  in;  any  artistic
                   around 1974
                                                        production  has  a  canopy,  a  humus,  a  root
                                                        system,  a  mix  of  soils,  dampness  and  rock,
                                                        the occasional bird poop, deep underground
                                                        lies  a  mushroom  sending  signals  while  a
                           Her MA graduation            corvid sitting on a branch plays the critic. If
                                                        we want to put it in social terms, it has to do
                                                        with the characteristics of your families and
                                                        communities  over  the  years,  their  social
                                                        standing and circumstances, the places you
                                                        have  inhabited,  the  people  you  have
                                                        encountered, your partners, friends and

               enemies, the times you have lived in, the strokes of luck you have been granted as
               well  as  the  bad  breaks,  the  opportunities,  accessibilities  and  preclusions,  your
               body  (its  gender,sexual  orientation  and  physical  characteristics)  as  the  dwelling
               place  of  your  brain/mind/soul/consciousness,  and  perhaps  to  a  much  smaller
               degree temperament and natural inclinations. While today’s scientific approaches
               dig  for  the  source  of  ‘talent’    in  particular  chemical  balances,  arrangements  of
               neurons,  characteristics  of  frontal  cortex,  (just  as  in  the  past  phrenology  was

               developed to plumb the depths of  the ‘aberrant mind’ focusing on the shape of
               the skull), there are entire potential more holistic  fields pertaining to source of
               knowledge, its reception and processing, its evolution or devolution through the
               million  years  of  existence  of  homo  sapiens  and  the  environment  in  which  they
               dwell  that  are  neglected,  hindered  or  have  not  emerged  yet.    These  potential
               alternative routes are pretty distant from mainstream perceptions of ‘the artist’
               today  which  tend  to  be  viewed  like  Athena  sprouting  all  grown  up,  armed  and
               wise  from  his  father’s  head.  In  today’s  world  of  celebrities  and  stardom,  the
               emphasis  is  definitely  placed  on  the  individual,  their  ‘talent’  and  the  humus  is
               merely gossip material at best. For a person who has been identified as ‘endowed’,
               in a world based on hierarchy and competition rather than interdependence, their
               ‘gifts’ are measured by the awards they may have received, the ‘milestones’ they
                have achieved, the amount of accolades they have accumulated, the prestige of
               their publisher or the galleries that have exhibited their work, how much visibility
               they have gained and how well they have marketed themselves.
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