The piece is interesting because it makes you feel something. Regardless of the intentions of a creator, the meaning in the art is ultimately observer dependent. It’s subject to the experiences of the individuals who is.. well… experiencing it. Could meaning in life be similar?
Meaning and emotions – Some thoughts on art
Meaning in art.
As any edgy young philosopher, I’ve dabbled pretty significantly in Nihilism, especially existential nihilism. It can loosely be understood as the rejection of objective meaning in life. Grime, but interesting.
One thought that made it easier to transition to a meaning as subjective, choose your own adventure, world view, was how I’ve begun to see meaning in art. Consider an intriguing work of art. The piece is interesting because it makes you feel something. Regardless of the intentions of a creator, the meaning in the art is ultimately observer dependent. It’s subject to the experiences of the individuals who is.. well… experiencing it. Could meaning in life be similar?
Emotional sincerity and art.
A hearty level of emotional sincerity in art is essential for an authentic and impactful experience. Even the best example of an inauthentic successful band, the sex pistols, still had an emotional sincerity that developed their art. Corporate sell outs sure. Half of the band couldn’t even play instruments sure. But It would be fucking stupid to say, Sid Vicious, Johnny Rotten and all the boys didn’t have a personal and sincere punk rock ethos and lifestyle.
Yet emotional sincerity doesn’t need to be translated into complete honesty. There’s no need to include every detail of a break up when performing a break-up song. In fact, a good break-up song channels the emotion of the break up without needing to tap into the specifics. It should appeal in a broad way to anyone who’s had a break-up. A good artist learns to take the emotional sincerity of a personal experience while still creating art for a broader audience than just himself.
“I don’t smoke marijuana, man. Marijuana is a girl from Cuba…Ganja…is a bird from Australia, I smoke HERB.” – Peter Tosh
This might come as a surprise but I actually really struggle when it comes to reading.
I love books, my childhood was spent surrounded by them. Both my parents are active readers and I’ve always had a pretty huge collection to choose from. However as much as I adore books, I’m a terrible reader. It can take me months to get through a book. I just can’t focus on it. Things around me become distracting or I just get lost in thought. I get bored so my mind starts to wander and I begin to lose track of the words. It’s pretty normal for me to be reading, get through a page and have to reread the whole page because I wasn’t paying attention. Maybe this can be blamed on school and the dread of having to read for an authority. Maybe I’m just high energy and sitting around focusing on one thing makes me uncomfortable. Regardless of the reasons, this is a problem I’ve always had, getting through a book is a complete struggle.
Yet when I smoke pot these problems go away. A good toke silences the world around me and makes it easier to focus in on the content. It keeps my mind from flying off or getting bored. It sparks my immigration as well without taking away my focus from words on the pages. I can get an idea, write it down and move on without it distracting me throughout the rest of the session. It just makes reading more fun and ensures I’ll be enjoying my time with no risk of boredom. Pot helps me focus in on the book and keeps me constantly entertained so I don’t start looking for things to distract me.
I’m sure they are many solutions to my problem but for the time being this works and I have a lot of fun doing it. Getting high during a hike (what a stereotypically Colorado thing) and sitting down to read has become a part of my weekly routine. If you struggle with reading maybe try giving this a shot.