It’s difficult to sit down and write about my current state. That banality stands in for a myriad of worries and self-condemnation that bubbles, unvoiced through my consciousness as a walk around every day.
I’m going to let that last sentence stand, even though its florid phrasing makes me wince. Because that is what any writing is: the willingness to let something, anything stand long enough to provide a bridge out to the thought you haven’t formulated yet. Somewhere out there is all of the stuff I need to think about through the writing, but for some reason I’ve been piling obstacles on the threshold, and then fretting about my inability to clamber over them.
So I sit here, consumed by acid reflux, distracting myself with multiple chrome browser tabs, fantasizing about the book I hope to write. I’ve taken enough breaks to clear my head, purchased cup on cup of coffee, snarkily tweeted, and tried to gather my scraps into something that has a shape.
Yet there are big things afoot. Such as: the growing sense that the economic disparities of New York are staring to make themselves felt throughout the art market. In other words, the ways in which a certain set of commodities have taken wings and now fly around the globe from auction to fair to festival has begun to produce a charivari of alienation that is too severe for even market positivists to gloss over. Younger people in smaller communities are asking themselves what if any benefit is to be derived from chasing ever retreating dollars in the midst of glossy consumer cities.
People are hungry for connection. Art provides that, Markets do not. Exchange doesn’t always mean reciprocity or understanding.
I work in the business of helping people become artists. I do it in part because it helps me become one. Because I find pleasure in thinking through things with someone else. I do it within a societal structure that is awash in mixed messages, where people are told they are special and yet where their agency is denied. We are all fighting to wrest our meaning from the world around us. To provide witness for each other. teaching is one of the ways of doing that.