What models for understanding our world are universal? What experiences do we share in longing for? How might we use the emergent media tools at our disposal to reach those collective aims?
Universalities is a place to explore my own tinkerings, ruminations, and works around these questions.
On the “Artist”
Many scoff at the “artist” as a profession, thinking that art is some pleasure activity characterized by subjectivity and lack of purpose. It seems, though, that throughout history, humankind has consistently found itself turning to art in tumultuous times for explanation, catharsis, or escape. It follows, then, that artists hold an important a role in society, and deserve consideration that is more than a mere decorative afterthought.
I myself have always rejected the label of ‘artist’. My work has taken me to artistic places, but consistently I resist this label by highlighting the technical, purposeful, and economical facets of the art that I create, while keeping silent and personal the emotional, equivocal, and philosophical. Perhaps it is out of fear of becoming the ‘starving artist’, or to have my labor dismissed as leisure; maybe I worry that if my work does not overtly challenge others’ intellect, they will have no motivation to engage and challenge my own.
At any rate, I have begun to feel that, in distancing myself from ‘art’ as I understand it, I am not only limiting that which I am capable of, but also alienating my fellow artists and passively contributing to the poor health of art as a field. It is clear to me, however, that (now more than ever) we need our arts to be strong and our artists nurtured. And so, finally, I say: Hello world, my name is Jane Adams, and I am an artist, just like you.