Wandering Into Technology
Usually, after completing an arduous work of art, I experience an emptiness. This is often a period of wandering grappling with questions like “What else can I say? What else can I try? Why write and make art? Who cares?” — remnant thoughts from humanity’s long history of self-focus. Lately I’ve been asking, “Why am I watching tutorials and learning new technology?” as I have been researching new techniques as ways to liberate content from my inner person. This has instigated a new animation project — one which is not completely self-focused.
Reading Ilia Delio’s Re-Enchanting the Earth: Why AI Needs Religion I have gained new appreciation for the inventions of humanity, the technology which Teilhard de Chardin foresaw as part of our growth toward the coming “noosphere”. Coining that word, he was trying to describe how the biosphere has been developing as the physical network of life on earth for eons and that, with the rise of humanity, this growth has expanded to the non-physical, psychic-spiritual network globally, aided by technology. He was thinking these ideas about our connection to each other in the 1930’s and ‘40’s with just a glimpse of computer invention. Confirming his foresight, we can now walk down the street connected in conversation with someone on the other side of the globe and pray for troubles around the world as they happen. More and more tools and capacities traditionally reserved for a few privileged individuals are coming to the fingertips of everyone, leading to a river of expressions from a quickly growing mass of people’s inner souls — and that’s not only social media posts.
Delio’s and Chardin’s perspective is that we can relate to technology more harmoniously by realizing it is part of humanity’s emergence to a less individualistic and more relational environment. My exploration of digital art and computer animation is part of the progression made possible by inventions which liberate more expressiveness. Besides that, these liberating technologies are the result of large communities of people creating solutions — together. For instance, one of the best animation and 3D software programs, Blender, is an open source program created by the collaborations of dedicated computer programmers from several countries and given to the public — for FREE. This is a clear indication that the time-honored self-centered view of reality is giving way to a relational one.
So, a community of visual artists following the yearning for Goodness is visualizing that which could be. As we join in we gain the ability to foresee, or at least speculate, where we are going. It can be a way of examining what IS and choosing our way beyond. The Spirit of Creation inspires our reaching forward, our imagination, enabling us to participate in CREATING the way forward.
People have been making organized marks, shapes and designs throughout history, and this is accelerating today. Our current ability to be visionaries and to show the way forward has been increased by the creations which we imagined only a few years ago. In my wandering, I came across a document I started in 2019 for converting my print volume Monthly Stimulants, poems collected in 2000, to e-book format. The project was left undone and forgotten, but my technology kept it sitting safe for me to pick up again as if I had left it only yesterday. You can now read on your personal screen poems I wrote over 21 years ago, before smartphones or personal e-readers were common. To get your copy click HERE.
Breaking Old Molds
Industry continues to maintain the old paradigm that the bigger your audience, the better, and only a few individuals can win, but technology is making it possible for writers and artists to rise above that exclusiveness. As we move further along in this new age of connectivity, we can ease up on this obligation to be the exceptional individual. It is possible to self-produce our expressions without a cost the size of a municipality and be confident that some of the billions of readers, listeners and art lovers will discover our offering. I know we still love applause and affirmation for our works but let us remind ourselves of our developing “noosphere” in which we can have confidence we affect the world even as we are affected by everyone else. Yes, work hard on whatever you contribute, but do so in joy, love and peace rather than pressure and fear that you won’t make the cut.
This helps me rediscover the validity of my art form. I can love what I make, set it out in the larger world and know someone will find and benefit from it. This frees me to evolve as an artist by exploring unknowns, because something more is happening than finding out what sells and working that niche to death. When I am free to explore and make new contributions, I, as a member of the evolving Creation, can take on new aspects and that is the incremental change of Creation. When I manifest the newness I have taken on, I contribute to our shared growth as the interconnected Creation. The actions of one particle affect all particles, as the science of entanglement tells us.
So, whether we see many receiving our expressions, or not, we still labor on the words, colors, plot lines, designs, techniques, moves, and forms of new inventions. We still contribute our inspirations not just as self-expression, but as our part of building the greater Body. Our works will contribute to the progress of Creation as we cease restricting them to self-focused ends and, in faith, let them fly us into new territory.