How can people exist without making?
Doesn't misery result from blockage of the normal human need to make?
Isn't it strange that most humans cease to make when they leave childhood?
This was not the case in most post-industrial societies so it
How about this for a scenario: making is the prolongation of play
Play & making constitute modes of production of meaning; "goods
The first gardens for example were not created to be work or even
School in the modern universal standardized institutional sense
The model here was mind/body as steam engine. The more you bottle
Replacement of steam engine model by computer model simply speeds
machines take over production of meaning just as they take over
Production of meaning cannot be synthesized (rendered inorganic)
In the crude early days of industry this programme was realized
Here in the Future however control has gone covert & non-linear.
As A.K. Coomaraswamy said, in our modern society the artist is
The specialness of the artist consists of alienation, that is,
The artist refuses to give up playing -- the production of meaning
The artist is seen as an incomplete person, neotenic, one who
The artist will never be hurt, or rather, the artist is already
This reality emerges very rapidly in the late 18th century as
The final revenge of the average modern non-artist on the artist
In a Gift economy a made object cannot be alienated in this way,
Under the sign of the Gift no one "makes a living" but simply
Under the sign of money however the axe of separation cuts to the root:
money fills up with meaning while art loses it.
People feel art betrays them because it promises meaning but never delivers.
But meaning lies in making not consuming.
Only a few great connoisseurs can really appreciate art without
And at some moment perhaps everyone has been a knower in this
understanding it by becoming it.
Everyone has at least one childhood memory of first-hand making.
Everyone has at least one moment of being an artist even if they're
Hobbies are often repressed art urges.
Artists who realize this dilemma can try various ways to ease the pain:
for instance by giving away their art for nothing
by teaching other people how to get over repression & make things
by cultural sabotage -- art as negation & critique -- destruction
by keeping children out of school
by transforming work into play, e.g., by gardening in a festive
by embracing wordly failure as a sign of spiritual success
by "going out to greet the sabbath", by invoking St Monday, by
by founding a rural commune devoted to art & avant gardening -- or
by redemption, i.e., by taking on oneself the burden of misery
In short there are many things to do, things that might at least
from disintegration burn-out under the good-cop/bad-cop routine
or even worse, assimilation, sell-out,
apotheosis of the Cyborg
without necessarily at the same time starving in a garret for
Nevertheless sacrifices have to be made: one cannot simultaneously
Some bets cannot be hedged. Play turns out to be quite serious
In a normal society it would take no courage to make, to create
Normal folk test their courage in other ways, say by vision quest,
Like shamans artists are usually forced into it by spirits who
but it's always possible to appease at least some of these devils
The result is of course self-repression & misery but many choose
In the U.S. the choice of affluence & distraction is made easy
It takes sheer foolhardiness to be an artist in the first place
but the secret truth is that one year of dreamtime is worth ten
If more people knew this secret more & more people would take
-- peter lamborn wilson