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Language Log

Tuesday, Jun. 02, 2020 - 10:53 p.m.

I dig myself into my art and can’t decide if I’m burying myself in it like an ostrich, my self-deluding coping mechanism, or if I’m digging for solutions, a way to contribute. I can’t tell what I’m looking for, will I know when I’ve found it?

Will it be bright and beautiful and peaceful and able to give comfort or delight? Is that valuable? Will it be absurd and, like the surrealist resistance in the China Mieville novel, fight by subverting reality? Of course they were getting shot at a lot in that novel too. Do I have time to reread that book to understand again, more rawly, what was written? Of course it’s an imagining, a magical realist version of Paris. But still. Are there useful things there?

Maybe it’ll be angry like a blunt weapon. I’m ok at that.

Critiques of activist art. We should never make and analyze at the same time. Many activist artists weren’t publicizing it as such at the time it was made, it was only seen this afterward. Or artists just make, to cope, to process, and the relevance emerges in retrospect.

Photographs, so many photographs. Tshirts. So many. Slogans. *sigh*

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