Saturday, January 28, 2006

Social Sculpture

My favorite artist of the late 20th century is Joseph Beuys. One of his famous slogans was "Everyone is an artist and society is a sculpture". If that is true, and I believe it is possible, then what we do matters, and even more importantly, it has an effect. Introducing people has the effect of changing those people's social milleu, but also of influencing thought. If thought is where we make the greatest social change and what we believe leads thought, then having a broad social base (lots of friends and associates) broadens our outlook through understanding multiple points of view. It requires listening to the other. I may not believe everything everyone else believes, but if I stay open to another's point of view, especially if that person has mastered an area I know nothing about, my own understanding is broadened.

What does that have to do with dinnerware, the main thrust of my daily art making? Dinnerware is what you eat on. (duh?!) The dinner table can be thought of as the social context of a dinner party or having family and friends enjoy a meal, the ultimate social activity, imho. If the dinnerware you use reflects careful thought, the food choices are fresh and healthy and your cooking delicious, doesn't that all enhance a pleasant experience for the guest? Maybe something amazing will happen at your dinner table if you look at it as a canvas, changing, ephemeral, but very real. A place where inspiration takes place. Art. Knitting social sculpture. Art is about building a structure for new thought to take place, expanded thought, discourse. Where better than at the table?

1 comment:

CarolGert said...

So glad I tuned into davistudio today! Love all three last bits of wisdom ... and that they are musing that reflect MA's thinking as an arting, enviromentaist, and human. You are so open, MA.
Thank you