2. Marginalised Artists:
At present I feel so marginalised that I don't even know if I could find a place within the "Marginalised Artists Group".
However, on a more serious level, I was wondering if there were any
plans for developing systems of practical help for marginalised artists.
Perhaps too, one might need to give serious concideration to why they
became so marginalied -and what (mental health) effects this might have
with regards to their becoming "unmarginalised".
Apparently "social rituals" play an
enormously important role in any collective activity: Although every
organisation has its own official reason for existance -in practice, it
seems that individual and collective psychological factors outside the
official function (in many cases) play a role in determining actual
activity which is possibly even greater than the official task.
From experience, it seems that some people (i.e artists) iether have,
or develop, a personality which does not fit in well with the
(unilaterally) defined social rituals of others.
Marginalisation often produces stress -and stress reduces the ability
to participate in (apparently non-essential) social rituals. This, in
turn, isolates the individual in question even more from a social
context -which of course only reinforces the problem.
How does one deal with this?
On the one hand, a social club for unsocial people sounds a bit
problematic -and on the other hand, I wonder how much marginalisation
might actually play a creative role in the work of the person
concerned. Certainly, I have the feeling that much of my (theoretical)
work is based on (internalising) "dialogues that I wish I'd had with
somebody".... Of course, there is no way for me to know how much better
(or worse) the work would be if it came under the category "Dialogues
that I enjoyed having with somebody".
Unfortunately, I must unfortunately admit that many of the social dialogues that I
have been able to witness did not have the quality that one for might
hope for. On the other hand, it is also extremely painful to experience
being excluded from groups of (happy) people discussing subjects which
are highly relevant to one's own existance. Such experiences only
increase the psychological pressures that contribute to marginalisation.
I suppose, closely related to this is the question of "direct
experience" in art. How much the work of an artist might reflect their
actual living conditions and experiences as opposed(?) to how much
work might reflect the social and artistic "norms and values" expected
of them -or indeed, how much their work might conciously reflect some
kind of collective social ritual (in the more traditional sense -and I
suppose perhaps in the (post)modern sense too).
b. Work Related:
Recently a friend wrote saying that his
eyesight had deteriorated and his head was full of code as a result of
the many long hours spent programming.
Indeed, my own personal experiences suggest that the mental disciplines
involved in programming successfully, may well stand in the way of
successful social interactions both on an individual and on a social
Apart from questions regarding standards of "objectivity",
"completenes" (reliability), "causality" and "inter-connectivity"
-there is also a bizarre time frame. Programming (especially debugging)
often requires hours of slow, patient and highly concentrated (but
perhaps slightly "unfocused") mental activity -while at the same time
interacting with a system that has a response time measured in
milliseconds..... In contrast, human contact (especially in the context
of group discussions) works with a completely different set of rules
-in a totally different time-frame.
Once when hitch-hiking in Britain, I got a ride with an ex-SAS soldier
-who told me that their standards of perfection were so great that they
had a special course to learn how to do things badly in civilian
society when they left the army. Sometimes, when talking to "normal"
people, I have the feeling that I can understand this point only too
Incidentally, in Holland, there is a "Museum for Outsiders" -although
when I visited it they seemed a little confused as to what exactly
defined an "Outsider". Apparently, the museum started as a private
collection of work by patients of the local psychiatrist. However, on
becoming a museum it seems to have partly kept the original function
-while expanding the definition of "Outsider" to include "autodidactic"
and "non-mainstram". Which is something that has slightly wierd effets
in my view.
This all seems to suggest that perhaps I'm not incorect with my idea
that one of the (or perhaps even THE) most important aspect(s) of
"Programming" (and culture too) concerns the question of "definitions".