Sunday, 17 May 2009

Listen With Your Eyes

I'm not much of a dancer.

In fact, I don't do well at all in situations such as dances, raves, hardcore parties, mosh pits, and the like. It therefore stands to reason that I'm a huge fan of hardcore electro, freeform hardcore, hardstyle trance, death metal, and grindcore.

Rather than dance to this music, I enjoy it from afar. I'm the type of person who would close his eyes and drift off into whatever Dark Nebula can kick out of a two hundred watt subwoofer, or let himself be assaulted by Aaron Funk's ceaseless Venetian Snares. I'm both a photographer and a musician, but not an art critic or a dancer. I certainly know people who love dancing to music - I'm dating one - but I'm not one of them.

Can you dance to a picture?

Sometimes my senses get the better of me. Colors and sounds can merge - tactile sensations blend with visual perceptions. It's not always a particularly enjoyable or even expected situation, but intriguing irrespective of circumstance.

Sometimes my eyes like to do things independent of what I wish. Sometimes they like to dance to pictures, and I go along with it. I hear what the picture is saying to me, and I listen.

I tend to approach art, namely photography, as an uncarved block, and observe it until I believe the block has been adequately whittled into a relatable representation of ideas. It's neither a fresh approach nor an ignorant one. Rather, it's the welcoming of the pure mindset that is the proverbial "blank slate."

A friend once told me that he saw things in the intricate latticework of Celt-Arabia that he was not entirely sure were intended. The Islamo-Celtic style of interlaced inkwork fascinated me but did not speak to me in the same way. To my friend, the crisscrossing, intersecting, bisecting, triangle-forming lines said things and stood for things that only he could quite understand. They decided to tell me something quite different. It was an amazing experience.

Art isn't seeing, it's listening. Anyone can look at a picture and see what it contains or represents. Art is being able to listen to what it tells you.

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