Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Authenticity and Workshops, Thoughts and Meanderings

Today, while in sketchbook class, we discussed the idea of authenticity.  It is an old argument, one that I am sure that Walter Benjamin was talking about and probably theorists before him as well.  Questions have surfaced over whether it was workshops who authored Master's works or the masters themselves.  Original thoughts and scenes disappear just as easily as they are originated.  With the age of the internet information is communicated so quickly that as soon as we author or post an image in the ether, it has become public domain.  We have lost both ownership of the idea and ownership of the image.  It is no longer original.  The only original is that initial thought which artists attempt to cultivate into works in their own right.  The nugget of information that fleets before our minds' eye, that is perhaps the authentic thought.  One of my students suggested that each of our individual experiences is actually where that authenticity lies.  When we are tapped into the moment and allowed to react and live with our works we are behaving in a manner that is authentic to our practice and our ideas as artists and human beings.

On the piggyback of this discussion was the idea of the workshop who is working under the commands of the master artist.  The group of students that I was working with this morning and I came to the conclusion that, although it may be easy enough to mimic an artist's or creators final products, it is difficult to live the moment that led to their work.  Each of our experiences with different objects and shapes and images is based on our own individual perception.  Without acquainting ourselves with a multitude of unknown people it would be difficult to have anyone create our own artwork.  Certainly it would be difficult to recreate the questions and concerns within the work that are the artist's own.

I found myself very much opposed to the idea of other people being allowed to create work which would cut my decision making out of it.  My decisions within my work are made on split second judgements, general feelings of my own personal aesthetics, and chance.  I cannot expect another person to make the same decisions that I make.  And so, I wonder if my work is not in some manner completely authentic.

Here are my two most recent assemblage pieces which I am creating for a show in Miami, FL which I hope to get into.  Florida would make the 16 or 17th state.  I am not sure without looking at the numbers.

The show is on a bird based theme.  I determined that it was no longer any fun to create simple works with birds and headphones or birds on the wire.  I had to do something different, so I started creating works like I would make which do not have any birds and just started to add them last minute as an impulsive sort of after thought.  So far I am very pleased with the results.

As for now, it is getting late and I am having trouble keeping my eyes open.

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