by Aaron Ross
If you think the word "artist" signifies a profession, like "doctor" or "stockbroker," then read no further. Your recognition of the falsity of this definition is necessary for the following attempt at communication to be successful. I assume that all readers of this bit of propaganda are living, breathing, ARTISTS, who engage in creative activity regardless of social or economic considerations.
To truly realize our potential as human beings, we must above all have freedom. Beyond the obvious need for freedom of speech, there is a need even more fundamental: freedom of self-determination. This right is violated every time a person is spuriously categorized according to the superficial perceptions of others.
The process of stereotyping begins at the moment of conception and continues to the grave. It is our right and our duty to DEFY these prejudices — not only of race, gender, creed, etc., but of "profession" and artistic medium. The moment we allow ourselves to be pigeonholed as "painters," "actors," "directors," and so on, we limit our opportunities for creative expression. It is a subtle but definite submission to the artistic constraints of mass culture.
Diversification enables adaptation; specialization inhibits it. Hyperspecialization invites disaster. Any species which becomes overspecialized risks extinction. Homo sapiens, the most adaptable creature on Earth, now controls its own environment. On a smaller scale, each one of us must perform many different tasks in order to function. For the artist, this means an ability to draw upon a wide range of information and skills to accomplish the objective: creation of truly original, universal, transcendent masterworks.
Therefore, I advocate the immediate annihilation of all boundaries among "the arts." In the present age, the geometric advance of technology has freed a significant portion of the population from hand-labor; has this not also been reflected in art? Technology has widened the scope of creative potential on a yet-immeasurable scale. Photography revolutionized painting; television expanded the cinema. Sound recording changed the focus of music forever. Now, computers promise to integrate all of these forms into a unified perceptual experience. How can we cope with the infinite possibilities this entails?
Our only hope is to educate ourselves in as broad a manner as possible. UNITY IN DIVERSITY! Biology has shown that the strongest individuals are those with the most diverse genetic and environmental backgrounds. SAVE YOURSELF and CROSS THE INVISIBLE LINE. Don't be daunted by the vast edifice of Tradition; it is a LIE.
To truly discover our latent abilities, we must explore all avenues of expression. Therefore, I urge you to EXPLODE into every project, every medium, every corner of your world with the light of a thousand suns. BE MORE THAN EVERYTHING. It's the only reason to be here at all.
LET IT HAPPEN TO YOU.
I have been