What I Learned In School Today…
If you can find it, read: Philippe Petit, On the High Wire, trans by Paul Auster, New York: New Directions Publishing, 2019 [1972, 1984], 3-19, 55-56
I’m already loving this teacher and this is still the first week. She suggested this reading for us and as soon as I opened the table of contents and saw a 100 pages of poetry, I was fascinated to find out what was there do discover. How was this going to help me understand the practice of making art?
The poem is of the mastery process of becoming a tightrope walker and it is very easily transferable to mastering any skill, providing the primary condition is met: you must embark on your intension with passion for the skill.
The first step… your chosen medium.
To paraphrase the author, whoever intends to master materials/media must take on the task of seeking them out and learning everything possible about them. The mandatory mindset to have is that this is a work of a lifetime, so one must embrace being a life-long learner.
The purpose of art making is the discovery of new ideas, invention of new combinations, and the pursuit of new expressions. It’s a hunt for knowledge and a game we play with our past selves. It always pushes us further; never stalling on concepts of perfection. Always an exploration and growing. No end; only steps forward.