Pearls from artists* # 404May 27, 2020
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Before we can even think of ecological rescue, global disarmament, or economic reform, we must find a way back to what science fiction writers call our homeworld. The term encompasses more than the biosphere; it also includes our homes, our places of work, our communities, families, friends, and lovers. It includes our technologies and tools, the physical body, the sensible soul, and the unconscious psyche. We need a faith to restore our capacity to feel, to affect and be affected with the same passionate intensity as our forebears, whose powers of feeling astound us so in the records and art of the past. The death of affect, to borrow a phrase from JG Ballard, is the true catastrophe of our spectral age, our spiritual Hiroshima. It makes questions such as whether life’s riddles are answered at the Vatican, in Tibet, or by the Large Hadron Collider utterly meaningless, since it removes the ground we need to pose such questions in the first place. Neither religion nor science can give us back the ground. Only the imagination can. Only art can mend the rupture of the soul and the world, the body and the earth.
J.F. Martel in Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice: A Treatise, Critique, and Call to Action
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