Tuesday, May 5, 2009


It occurred to me the other day that I seldom simply blog what's on my mind. In part that's because art is what's on my mind most of the time, and I generally prefer that to have a shape before sharing. I suppose it's true that art and tidying up have something in common.

And then, there's the reality that there are, at present, so many decisions concerning You'll Always Come Back, that there's little time left over to share much of anything, formed or otherwise.

That said, one thing that has been in my mind is how projection plays a part in the sort of work I do. And this came about not because I'm contemplating projections of video, film-making, photography & light (which I am), or because the performers must adjust their own projections about the work, and about their own experience, with some sort of aesthetic accuracy in correspondence to the material of the work. This has been known, as a quotient, from the beginning of the process.

Nope, the meditations about projection are an effort to understand how others find in my work what they are looking for, or to put it another way, the tendency that work has to encourage imagination - sometimes in ways that seem to me very contrary to what I might prefer. My theory is that mythic imagery has the quality of focusing attention. It seems strange to write of an audience, when what I prefer is sharing what I do with my friends, but to refer to everyone who experiences my work (including all of you who read this blog, but who have not introduced yourselves...((which is fine...)) - as friends - would lose enough specifics to render the moniker meaningless, so audience it is.

And I, in my own constant state of projection, imagine all those witnesses as friendly, or at least as having an interest in common. But that, alas, is not necessarily so.

I discovered recently that someone in NY was visiting my website repeatedly, and although at one level I'm a simpleton to effects, enjoying scoring higher in statistics being observed, something about the pattern of visits seemed odd, and the referring addresses were certainly not familiar - so I followed the link back to find out that my work is the subject of a conspiracy website. Someone watching The Keeper video, my blog posts, ballad paintings, etc etc. - interpreted my personal symbols as evidence of a criminal mind, as though any idea they had in response to what I had made could be connected to events or motivations in my private life. I would say that wouldn't be so bad if what they imagined was pleasant, but in fact that sort of projection for any reason is disappointing - because it misses the boat of what the work is really about, at least what it is really about to me. For some odd reason my opinion about that was not taken into consideration - the persons posting my work online did not bother to ask me about it - it suited their purposes, so they exploited it for selfish reasons.
See what I mean about disappointing. We throw up our hands and say, "That's the internet." User beware - or as an art collector commented when I told this story; "That's the price of fame." One person looks in the magic mirror and thinks they see the confirmation of love, another looks and thinks they see the confirmation of hate. What I'm trying to say is look at the mirror.


Cathy said...

I suppose some of this is inevitable, but it's creepy.

Dan Dutton said...

I had a hard time deciding whether to write about it or not. It would take a lot of writing to articulate a problematic situation that seems to feed on attention. But it's one thing to ignore the individual phenomena, and another thing entirely to ignore the dynamics of cause and effect on the work itself.

When work gets really busy and intense, as it is at present, the worrywort me worries that I'm missing the obvious and neglecting the essential. The questions concerning projection - what encourages it? what minimizes it? is it an act of will or an ingrained compulsion? - are important to YACB.

The inclination of my thought is that projection is attached to a false (?) need for continuity, and that the continuity is represented (on the story boards of life) by finding connections - or more exactly, the persona is stroked by pretending to discover revelations, insights, clues, amazing significances, ~ a whole host of pasted on meanings ~ and this cluster of stuff gains weight by quantity, rather than quality.

Well it's an insight into the decision to "drown my book, deeper than did ever plummet sound" ~ but notice Prospero uses the future tense.

Alan Evil said...

Back, and to the left.

As is obvious from your interest in murder ballads, cowboys, horses, and art, you were the real shooter from the grassy knoll!

My feelings about conspiracy theories is that on one level they're entertaining mental exercises for the mildly curious, but for many people they are so distracting as to block them from exploring the real world and actual events. There are people who are convinced the Federal Reserve Bank, the Catholic Church, the CIA, and the Jews are manipulating and controlling the world at every level causing them to ignore the simple fact that it's rich people screwing the poor, just like it always has been. These kind of people spend all their time searching out confirmation of their twisted belief system (usually quoting other nutjobs like themselves) and meanwhile the world moves on without them.

You should post a link to the discussion board that links back to your blog. That topic (the smiley face killer) is seventy six pages long and insanely wide ranging in scope and makes about as much sense as the Kennedy assassination. Dimwits with computers trying to solve a series of crimes by looking at the internet. It just makes you want to shout at these people to get the fuck out of their houses and go volunteer at a children's hospital or something else useful.

Anonymous said...

@ Dan Dutton: Interesting artwork, love the photographs of your garden and strawberry pie. By the way just as an aside, you share the first and last name of a man who regularly posts on many of those same SFK conspiracy boards, and who claims to know who the serial killer is. It took me a while of searching through your blogs to find out that you state here you're from Kentucky and not Detroit, MI (as the poster there), and that your writing style is much more eloquent and poetic.

@ Alan Evil: Hey, not all of us are "Dimwits" - some of us are trying to help solve the mystery and hopefully prevent some premature deaths! Sometimes a 'conspiracy' isn't just a theory, or maybe isn't even a 'conspiracy,' but there might actually be something to it.

ps. Maybe it's silly of me to worry, but I'm only posting as "Anonymous" because one never knows who else might read these comments. :)

Anonymous said...

@ Dan Dutton: I just posted a moment ago as Anonymous and forgot to mention something. Please see this link in that conspiracy forum: http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message542174/pg80 and scroll down to the post by "Happier User 680785" to read an inspirational post regarding your work. :)