The morgenseiten of Katharsisdrill 16 - Punk

in #morgenseiten2 years ago (edited)

OK - 12:50 - Morning a long time away. I suffer from Sommerloch (I know this thanks to @felixxx) at least when it comes to my comic about Phill... Light, family celebrations, heat, bicycle trips... my brain is boiled.

But @shortcut wrote a post yesterday, and I knew that I had to write something about a thing i have had in mind since @roused released his inner hippie. Sounds confusing? It's the Sommerloch messing with my brain.

I have meet @shortcut here on Steemit and in e-mails - one day he might be coming to Copenhagen or I will go to Bonn, but right now we are virtual. Even so I have a good impression of his thoughts when it comes to art (I think), so when he wrote a post yesterday I was not surprised to read this:

Dear friends,

as you might know, I'm participating in this year's #maysketchaday, where I basically "exercise daily to build immunity to perfectionism. Any medium, anything goes."

When I was younger I was proud of my perfectionism. I used a lot of time, really a lot of time finishing my projects and I had to compensate by working manically. Time was invested and things was made... but slowly. At a certain time I made 4 large painting and it took me 6 month. When I finally had to say to myself, "these are as good as they get", my friends at the academy bought some beers and celebrated my incredible folly. I had high romantic ideas about art, as did most of the people I knew. We were children of the eighties. A time where this feeling was growing in us all, even though it made no sense. It was a strange time. The lurking atomic war, the experiments of our hippie parents that had left us children deeply scared while they just sat there talking about themselves, the nihilism of the yuppies (whose crazy superstar is now ruling the white house), the simple seducing synth-pop, the world of computer games that was so primitive that it must have harmed our brains, the drugs... and the punk-movement that had grown into a real life place, a community, an aspect of our lives even for the ones who hated punk.

Punk was a strange thing. It still had the age-old romanticism of the heroic, of the sublime. But it also was a radical political idea, and this is the aspect I want to talk about, because one of the radical ideas was that quality was a bogus. Some evil bourgeois control mechanism that was meant to hold us down. Everybody was equally good. John Coltrane and your friend who played guitar. I was never buying into this. I love John Coltrane, I love quality and I am old-fashioned enough to stay that way, but does that mean that you as an artist should shut the fuck up if you are not good enough?

This is the question I wanted to talk about. (And I just had to close the tab that played Chet Baker, because that was too damn much quality right now)

Enter @roused... who is a German, who is from USA, who knows a lot about music, an incredible person to whom I have been introduced by @shortcut. @roused and I talked about the inhibitions quality impose on us - in the comments of a post I am not able to find right now. I had posted a lot of my amateur music and we were somehow writing comments about that and some other stuff I can't remember right now... and now I remember :) It was about releasing your inner hippie! (a tag @shortcut invented - tag-inventor as he is.) So the question was: Would @roused publish some of his own music? The answer from @roused was a big NOOOO! And I was left incredibly curious and sort of embarrassed that I had just done that exact thing myself.

I am not going to come up with some big solution. I am torn. I am not sure that I dig this time where everybody just publish their dilettante kitsch crap, and I like it when people do anyway. I would like to get to know @roused's music even though it might have a hard time comparing to all the guitar-heroes he is making these great interviews with, and I appreciate @shortcut's project with overcoming the perfectionism (or maybe more precisely the inhibitions); I could also mention @steevc's many open mic posts. He sings. I like it.

This long, incoherent text will have to end. I hope you can read between the lines what I am getting at, but I wrote this underneath @shortcuts post today. Much better and shorter than this blob.

Here is what I wrote:

I have thought about what to write (yes, I use far to much time on comments, but this one I wanted to get right, so I didn't write yesterday). Then Youtube slowly through Johnny Otis, Nat King Cole and Esperanza Spalding took me to this:

Listen to the long introduction. It says all about inhibitions, perfectionism et all. I think that the most important thing to have in mind is that we can only give ourselves and we can never know what it means. Bob Dylan makes these mediocre paintings, he can't sing, but somehow he simply did himself in front of everybody. That's it. Our admiration for the masters will keep us on our toes, but it isn't meant to keep us on the ground.

I will like to end this messy post with this:

My friend @shortcut has started to write some posts every morning - #morgenseiten he calls it - morning-pages. Here is his explanation of the project:

It goes like this: you shall each morning write from the soul, anything going through your head.

He writes a lot more, but this is the essence :) (Read his first morgenseiten post here)

I have decided to try the same. I write from the top of my head every morning or late morning if I have been sleeping late. I only correct typos and make a headline afterwards. Else everything is left as written. Expect some of it to sound like stage directions.


First, I love that clip with Clapton. I had watched it previously and it is indeed remarkable because when you see him live he rarely speaks, at least not in sentences :-)

It's funny, so many of the things you wrote, for example about Dylan and Coltrane, are things I've thought and said too -- on a lot of this we are really on a very similar wave length. I also see that too about being able to tap into your true self, that is how so many people with marginal voices are able to make great music. They are authentic, real, soulful -- however you want to describe it.

That's more difficult than it sounds -- Lately, I've been feeling pretty burned out on the platform. Your nudging is tempting me to release some chapters of fiction I wrote a while back -- I'm going to think it over this weekend.

Anyway, back to keeping it real and Clapton, that made me think of a great example of someone who is in touch with his inner essence. Check this out, it's so great.

If you look at the comment I made to @steevc I think that there are so many different forces at play. And you can't know the causality behind it! All you can is walk slowly down the road trying to get wiser while taking in the view.

The spoken intro is really interesting. Clapton obviously has this eternal doubt that hasn't left him even in old age. Incredible!

The same professor as mentioned in the other comment totally destroyed me at one of the discussions about our works when I had just started at her school (critizised my art). So I went down to work, the only thing I have ever known to do when the world didn't work the way I wanted it to. A short while later she goes through the atelier and she comes to me and says: again paraphrasing from memory: "The others (the other students that had been in the discussion) work with unambitious things and they receive praise because they succeed. You try to achieve some very hard things and you will be criticised when failing. It is a matter of proportions. Don't compare yourself to other people. Look at what you are doing and make it work. Learn not to be afraid of failing."

I am exhausted by this and all the other internet platforms, but I keep going for the good things like these discussions. I would like to see some of your works now I know your talent for writing about music. In light of how much garbage there is out there you could use it as an excuse to just try it out. We know it will drown in stupid anyway :) I have been at this experiment for 4-5 years now and it all leads back to the same old doubts. I have learned to live with it :)

try listening about 34:30

Thanks for the thoughtful response. The clip caused me to dig a little deeper into Robert Crumb -- I'm going to finish watching this tonight, but it looks interesting.

Clapton's autobiography is a good read in terms of understanding him as a person -- I suppose dealing with his various addictions involved a lot of self evaluation and introspection. In terms of music it disappointed me a bit. In any case, he was plagued by doubts. What impressed me most about him was not his guitar playing, but his development over the years as a singer. If you look on YouTube for him singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" -- wow. In any case, his music and performances greatly enriched our world.

Your professor's comment:

Daring is an enormous force in art.

That's so true in music too, although to be honest, when "daring" somehow also manages to be "pleasing", for me that's magical.

There is some abstract or free jazz that jazz musicians themselves appreciate on a level that ordinary people, like myself, sometimes don't get.

I interviewed Carl Mörner Ringström, a Swedish guitarist who studied in Copenhagen, and he's an example of someone who is daring (mixing heavy metal and jazz) and challenging, yet his music also appeals to me melodically.

@shortcut wrote

it's about finding an audience and connecting with them. And yes: "Daring is an enormous force in art."

Connecting that is a subject worthy of exploration. That always brings me back to Vincent v. Gogh. True to his art, combined daring and beauty, never found his audience. A couple of my favorite albums are by jazz musicians I can guarantee you, and 99.999% of people on Earth have never heard of. I have tremendous respect and admiration for people who seek to live from their art -- that is a precarious walk into the unknown.

I seldom read biographies, but sometimes I am interested if artists write about themselves, mostly because I am interested in what they think about art. I never was much interested in the person behind to be honest - artists can be very funny and very boring and crazy and conformist. Crumb is great to listen to because he always talks about his art. My impression of for example Van Gogh or Picasso is almost exclusively from their paintings and drawings.

Van Gogh was dead sure of himself and never sold a thing, Picasso, the prodigy child, was completely unsure about himself. I saw that in the Barcelona museum where you could first see his teenage works that where imature copies of the impressionist - then you move into a large room where you can see a large paper painting in green white and black (a beginners etude) and all the many paper sketches done to make the painting... all of it a person who try to work until he finds himself. That was a revelation!

I enjoyed the Carl Mörner Ringström. I will check him out some more.

I know what you mean. Because music is such a collaborative art form, the biographies have helped me to better understand the influences of the various musicians.

My knowledge of art is so limited, there are certain painters who appeal to me for whatever reason. I don't know if he was the first, but things like Jan van Eyck use of the mirror really blew me away.

I should probably start watching some documentaries on youtube to better appreciate art. For example, Picasso never touched me, but I was always drawn to Dali. I know way too little...

Knowledge is good of course, but I have had a lot of vivid experiences with art I did not understand - then I start researching! As a kid we listened to the Pink Floyd records and other prog-rock bands. The records belonged to the big brothers and parents of me and my friends so it was already historical for us. The soundscapes was sinister and I felt the war, the Atomic bomb and the hippies underneath it all, but I only understood the context and the lyrics when I returned to it a few years ago.

I was reading quotes today from artists, and thinking that could be a fun post. A game, ten quotes and ten pictures, and try to match them ;-) With these three I think I would have guess correctly.

“If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all.” Michelangelo

“If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.” Edward Hopper

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” Andy Warhol

Great idea, I always loved to read poetics and their smaller cousins maxims and quotes. Artists talking about art like in your interviews. When I was a teenager all the grown up women read a biography about Karen Blixen, but they never read her own stories... I was obviously very indignant :)

I love that post on so many levels:
How it prooves, that a virtual friendship is possible here,
that there are actually real thinking people at this platform,
that listen and reflect about what other's write,
that can see (and express) the connection between visual art, music, language and history
that love quality and kitsch...
and Punk:

quality was a bogus. Some evil bourgeois control mechanism that was meant to hold us down. Everybody was equally good.

In my observation (here and elsewere) art is not about quality, it's not about creating the perfect piece, writing the perfect post (or comment) - it's about finding an audience and connecting with them. And yes:

Daring is an enormous force in art.

Art is sometimes made without an audience (or almost without), a lot of my production has been. And so different things are art. Punk and Mahler (who was a crazy perfectionist), just to name one. I am still struggling to get my head around this, but one thing is clear. Working is what matters for the simple reason that if you do not work you are not creating art.

It says a lot that I have edited this post 15 times in the half hour since I posted it... crap

Punk seems to be an attitude and I can emphasise a little with it whilst still appreciating crafted art.

Yes! The world is both things. I remember standing before two paintings by the German painter Baselitz together with one of my professors at the academy. She had just been talking very positively about an abstract painting by an American painter that had all the right things, fat paint, thin paint, elegant colours, clever figures, but the Baselitz paintings were simply a big white circle painted very roughly surrounded by very rough painted green, and the exact opposite, a green ball on white. And she said (paraphrasing from memory):

"The other painting (the american's) is not the best on the exhibition. These are. Daring is an enormous force in art."

Love the varied lyrics on The Exploited song! I missed a lot of the Punk era due to having a few years of disinterest in music, but revisited it later.

Being a somewhat non-conformist to society's demands I have a lot of sympathies with what they were trying to show the public, and some of the music was awesome too.

Nice to read from you again, after fighting with internet connection about 3 hours. No matter what time your morning was, sometimes my morning is evening for others..LOL. I will visit major @roused for more musical thing of Gamelan (traditional music from Indonesia)