"Although many a great artist has relied foremost on the skill of seeing, the Post Personal artist relies foremost on the skill of being."
-Artist Christopher Gasper
The greatest threat to humanity is not religious extremism, climate warming or nuclear war. It is the the inability of individual humans to see see themselves as unwitting slaves of collective unconsciousness. To state it theatrically, today the earth is populated almost entirely by zombies.
The vast majority of humans today are like pale corpses staggering through almost-life, pushed around by TV, advertising, devices and the war on our attention.
. . . Then suddenly the zombies (speaking through an interpreter) say to me: "Hey fancy mouth, you are human too so we are going to eat you!" And they begin lurching toward me.
"Ok, that's fine." I say, "But before you eat me I should warn you that I am not merely human, I am post human! I may have a human appearance but I am human being. And if zombies eat being they will surely die!—I mean, in a good way this time. So I warn you, eat my flesh only if you can withstand the bitter taste of that truth!”
The zombies halt their lurching and look at each other confused.
The moral of the story is, when we are more being than human, we are no longer controlled by collective unconsciousness. So don't be a zombie artist. Make art consciously.
When I have shared artist Morris Graves' statement "My first interest is in being. Along the way I am an artist." with fellow artists they sometimes misunderstand its meaning. They think he is saying that he really doesn't care about art all that much. Otherwise he would have said his first interest is in art, so he must not have been a very committed artist.
However, given his vast output of artwork it would be inaccurate to think that he was not committed. I believe in his statement he is placing the state of his consciousness ahead of the art-making process. Because he knew that art is a reflection of the artists state of consciousness. But most artists are so preoccupied with their process that they rarely step back to consider the state or quality of their consciousness from which their artwork arises. Graves called that state "being". And to be grounded in the state of pure being was to Graves a prerequisite for producing meaningful art. His interest in the subject of being and consciousness can be found in many of his works.
My on-screen signature when buying a chicken burger at Diggity Dog this afternoon in Tangletown, Seattle. (Not touched up in Photoshop, if you were wondering). It's part of a photo-collage piece I am working on.
" . . . I have learned that art and nature are mind's Environment within which we can detect the essence of man's Being and Purpose, and from which we can draw clues to guide our journey from partial consciousness to full consciousness."
"I paint to evolve a changing language of symbols and language with which to remark upon the qualities of our mysterious capacities which direct us toward ultimate reality."
"A clearly defined, if subtle, line separates Graves' art from most of his contemporaries. He is one of the very few twentieth century artists for whom the creation of art is an act of reverence and perhaps the only one of stature for whom it is largely a means of lovingly (but persistently) reaching upward, outward, and inward toward greater and simpler dimensions of being and evidence of the divine. Here he stands quite alone."
Excerpt taken from essay by Theodore F. Wolff
The last sentence of the above states "Here he stands quite alone." A post personal artist would respond: "Not any more."
Patrick Howe, Artist, Author, Educator, Electronic Music Composer