Friday, December 11, 2009

Things I thought about while reading what I read

Things I Thought About while Reading what I Read

Q: In art, is it really possible to miss the point?
A: Yes.

When we say it’s risky, what precisely is at risk? Experimental, as well.

The idea that everyone must be devoted to something, and not just that something, but an aspect of it. Like not just painting, but a special care of backgrounds, for instance.

That you should like something else nearly as much as you like whatever you’ve devoted your life to. These become ancillary muscles.

The solace of art is the same as the solace of religion, as inside of each there are no emergencies.

A sentence is a series. A word is a series. So what was the question again?

Are we talking about objects in space or effects in time?

Environmental activities (what’s going on) can’t ruin something if it’s open to the activities of the environment. That’s a very John Cage idea.

Do it before it’s done.

We should try to get ourselves to a point where something we love to do is impossible, then it’s worth doing.

John Cage wonders if perhaps money is the true subject of music. The true subject of poetry, then, is what? TV?

Anything we are saying has this problem of audience to consider.

All problems are social problems.

That something is true or not should be of concern.

Some say art is more about asking questions than finding answers. If we don’t want to know the answers, asking questions is risky.

Words regarding the inability of words to communicate are going to be difficult.

With nothing to paraphrase, an experience can still have meaning in the way that weather can be said to have meaning.

To be appropriate to one’s circumstance seems a worthwhile goal for art.

It is important to always have three ideas, four is even better, and one of them to be academic (craft), one to be social (content), and one to be chance (the real). The fourth can be silence.

The rotating point of view is that there’s something going on over there too.

In the world of 10,000 things there’s the possibility of 10,000 disappearances.

Often things come out of things one wasn’t working on. Teflon and the polio vaccine come to mind (unless I’m misremembering High School).

I imagine people who like sonnets would like five-paragraph themes.

Remarks one makes in conversation are the best sort of autobiography.

The things one denies in art, once they are denied, it’s important to find out all one can about them.

What’s the new trick with the old sauce? There’s always one. And sometimes, like when they put a little cumin in it, it really can feel like we’ve gotten to something. But we still call it red sauce. And there still are tomatoes in it.

It’s worth it to know something about art.

The more you come to know about what you do, the more imperative it is to have questions.

One goal for art that I rather like is to create a thing you feel you understand, but if you would try to put it in words it would sound silly.

If art points, then the question is also, does art contain the finger pointing?

Must one really learn the rules in order to break them?

We have to find ourselves back to what is actually interesting, not what we’ve been conditioned into thinking is interesting.

It’s a problem of what is interesting to people.

All things are done on the back of other things.

A goal can be to get to a place where there is no evaluation going on, when things simply are, and being there is being there.

When I was young, my parents had two books of poetry in the house, one was Wings of Silver, the other was Apples of Gold. I hated those books.

Ideas: We just keep going on until we realize an idea happened. Oh, good, we were hoping for one.

Some of what we do must be fixed and some must be open.

“Recollections in tranquility” and “look back in anger” are the same thing.

Civilization might or might not.

Controversies in aesthetics are neighborhood feuds, and look really silly from a couple streets away.

As everything is changing, do we or don’t we need to try to change?

There is an implied YES in anything written. That is always a problem. A political problem.

The only thing I know about John Ashbery that I don’t see mentioned is that he’s left-handed.

We’re not dealing with things, we’re dealing with people.

Change brings about change and we’re living in change itself.

I was relieved to find out there doesn’t have to be a meaning in things for there to be a meaning in my relationship to things.

There’s always another volcano to throw oneself into.

Invention becomes convention or it becomes nothing at all.

“The trees here are all wrong.”

Everything that happens to us has a cognate in everyone else. Alas.

Everything has a threshold. And what then?

Perhaps this is just idle talk. Perhaps all art is chit-chat. But isn’t it wonderful anyway?

Chat is French for cat.

All of one’s problems become social.

I don’t know what I want from my students. If I knew, I hope I would be smart enough not to ask for it.

“Where would you go if you were going?”

What happens when all our entertainment becomes dependent on electricity?

“Subjects” seems so narrow.


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