Meaning, not beauty, is what we are after.
We seem to have lost contact with the earlier, more profound functions of art, which have always had to do with personal and collective empowerment, personal growth, communion with this world, and the search for what lies beneath and above this world.
An image, a dance step, a song may function from time to time as entertainment, but the root and full practice of the arts lies in the recognition that art is power, an instrument of communion between the self and all that is important, all that is sacred.
Art that serves an artist best is an experiment in expanding awareness.
There are some disabling myths about what art is, how to do it, what is good art, and what art is for, that have gagged generations, depriving them of significant and natural means of expression. This is a terrible loss and an unnecessary one.
It is not quite accurate to say that the objective of art is to represent what happens to us as a consequence of encountering the world. A fuller description of the task would be to say our aim is to discover what happens to us as we consider things.
Unless you periodically unbind yourself from the world as it is given to you from moment to moment, you will fail to release those qualities of your mind that can generate images of the world as you would prefer it to be or the world as you declare it to be.
An artistic endeavour comes into the world naked, unnamed, and vulnerable. Every creative effort requires the artist to wrest something from nothingness, a purposive cosmos from an apparently indifferent chaos.
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