Okay, so here’s the question: Am I, at heart, an academic or an artist? The suggestion itself suggests that I am an academic. Why? Because academic discourse is based on questions. Inquiry. You ask and you investigate and you develop thoughts, but it’s never static. And maybe, ideally, art would be that way too. But it isn’t. Not within a consumerist system, anyway. (That doesn’t sound right. Consumptive? That captures it more accurately.) Because we are forced to turn art into a marketable skill/product (the pressure this provides is not negligible to the quality of art we can *produce* or the capacity we develop for certain skills), art is necessarily involved in the creation of answers.
The best art makes us question ourselves, our lives. But was there only one way to achieve that? A best way? In this sense, art is practical. We must pause the process of questioning long enough to relate to others. In doing so, artists choosewhento stop. Weaker artists will fall into the trap of creating answers in these pauses. Weaker academics will do the same thing. Academia, however, should never stop. It’s easy to forget this. We try to come up with answers. What’s the point of questioning if you don’t? But each answer should lead to more questions. And so on.
Here’s the reality: I’m tired. Part II later?