Friday, April 17, 2020

The Power of Artistry (and art's poignancy in quarantine)

Hello AllOne Family,
I hope this message finds you safe, healthy and wonderfulfilled.
Yesterday I was reading the transcript of Alan Moore's brilliant performance piece "Snakes & Ladders" (incredibly recommended, though esoteric reading). His words are accompanied in the offering by the multimedia visual artist Eddie Campbell.
Afterwards, I was watching an excerpt of an interview with the great Alan Moore where he shares some important insight into the power that artists once had, specifically in the bardic and satire traditions.

Moore then infers this empowering historical truth could have great import for modern artists.

"If artists actually remembered the power that they used to have, then I think that...if they treated their art as if it were magic... if they gave their creativity the respect that they would give a God, then I think that would solve a lot of the problems in modern art." -Alan Moore
He emphasizes the importance of a sense of purpose as artists and reverence for our position as creative conduits to the higher truths and our lowest depths.
Moore's thesis across much of his work (especially post-millenium) seems to be that as artists, we are magicians. Via our ability to create we have a great and terrible power.
Through the utility of our craft and the cultivating of our exercised imaginations we can influence the lives of others for good and for ill.
We are the interior decorators of the hearts and minds of those who experience our work, if we are doing it effectively and honestly.
Assuredly, this Covid-19 pandemic and its necessary restraints (joblessness, listlessness, boredom, isolation) imposes new perspectives for everyone, creative or not.
This has already prompted the reassessment of the vital value of artists in the public discourse as people seek escapism or see what neglected career skill-sets really adorn our lives with meaning and invite us to be besotted with euphoria.
Cross reference these thoughts with Zoe Mather's wonderful recent article in which she shares:
"Its influence may seem minuscule but making a point to incorporate art into your everyday life, and not enabling it to fade into the background of the chaos, is crucial. Art is the hope we will cling to as the world struggles around us." (Zoe Mathers, Flanelle Mag)
Just some things I'm thinking about. What are your thoughts and intuitions on all of this? I felt we could all use a confidence boost, or a reminder of the poignancy of our station as oracles, as purveyors of all things dazzling and gritty.
If you're an artist, you're a potential wellspring of sanctuary for people. In fact, if you're a good person, that is true too!
Stay healthy and well! You are important.
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

2019 Book List and Recommendations

Welcome to the year 2020!
I don't think I'll ever get used to how futuristic that sounds!  Much to my consternation I realized while typing up this annual book list, that I haven't made an entry here on blogger since last January.  When I consider that, and my intentions for the various writing series that I intended on and my list of blog topics and ideas... it seems to me that the year flew by, although of course it did not.  It never does, we just perceive the time differently in relation to what we've got going on externally and internally.
As of the day I'm writing this, I have now finished my first year back at school, at Stony Brook University, where I'm working toward my Bachelors in Journalism.  You'll note that I've read a lot of non-fiction (or a lot more than usual for me) and much of it is of a more sober, academic nature.  I hadn't a lot of time to read as I was so entrenched in academia and so many of these books were experienced as audiobooks (all the Tom Robbins books, Pillars of The Earth, Figuring, Classic Scrapes by James Acaster, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, The Hunt For Red October and Bonfire Of The Vanities).  This offered me a nice opportunity to do all of the commuting and traveling and solitary outdoor work that I would occasionally do while drinking in the stories and knowledge (ok you know what the benefits of an audiobook are.
 I'm rambling now because it has been so long.... Below you'll find a book list.  I would honestly recommend all of these books although some with caveats (for certain entries, I suggest reading previous volumes first.  For Alice Isn't Dead, however, I recommend you listen to the audiodrama podcast that it originates from).   Not that it is a contest, but I am happy to see upon reflection that I averaged a book a week in 2019.  Please comment with your thoughts on any of these works or authors if you have read them, or with your own recommendations for what I ought to read in 2020!
Stay Present to enjoy and you'll enjoy, too, your present stay!
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo