Artists have always been the transformational engine of society. Even politicians seem to get that now as this recent document from the National Governors Assosiation shows.
If you wish to create, achieve, build anything, the very first thing that needs to be done is to imagine it. Without creative imagination, we would have never attempted to go around the earth in 80 days or less, go underneath the sea, have chairs in the sky…
Without the arts, we are blind. Without creative imagination all the engineers of the world would not know what to build. And this is not only true for physical objects, but also for ideas. Because of artists we can imagine different ways of relating to each other. Because of artists all across the world showing us their realities, we can now see ourselves as one human race across this planet.
And even more… Artist have always been about authentic self-expression (at least the ones that were actually making art and not trying to please their audience). Artists lead the way in showing that – in spite of prejudice and ridicule – it is worth living a life dedicated to one’s own creative energies and expression thereof.
As the materialist systems are collapsing – and with it the idea of a life spent in consumption -, the idea of a life spent in pursuit of creative expression is becoming more and more important. My friend Barry once said you can live your life as a consumer or as a producer.
Consumption is death. Once you consume something, it is gone. Production is life, giving existence to something that was not there before.
Economics is the science of scarcity, it is about how to distribute a limited amount of resources for consumption. This is a model that cannot survive any longer (the premise is fucked to begin with if you actually take a look at nature). We now are shifting into a model of ecology, where each member produces what they are here to produce – because they love to do so -, consume only what is required to produce, and where each product and any waste become immediate nutrients for other systems.
The latter model is actually sustainable – and if we wish to survive as a species on this planet, it might behoof us to adopt it sooner than later. Even the governors seem to get it on some level…