PERSIST 7: In Praise of the Creative Spirit in a World Gone Mad With Commerce

This is the 7th installment in a series reviewing PERSIST In Praise of the Creative Spirit in a World Gone Mad with Commerce by Peter Clothier.


The stuff we buy and collect can control us.  What is the meaning behind the objects we own?  Clothier: “Whatever I believe I own is inarguably no longer mine when I leave this world.”  That is true but I believe the majority of people aren’t aware of this till it’s too late.  A memory can be stronger than an object.  However, some people fill voids with material possessions not knowing any limits.

For artists, we create objects for others to collect.  What is the meaning behind this?  According to Clothier: “This seems to me an eminently healthy attitude toward what we think is ours: we are in some way blessed to have it in our custodianship for the time being, but we must know that it will all flow away from us in the same great flux of life that brought it to us.”  The objects that artists create follow the same life cycle: they come and go.

For me, acceptance is the best medicine to collecting and creating.


One Hour/One Painting

We live in a world of instant communication.  Can anyone remember a time when there was no cell phone or computers?  How did anyone live and exist?  Clothier: “I’ve come to deeply distrust the notion of information- along with its enabling kissing cousin, communication.”  As a result, it takes research to hopefully find the truth.

Clothier: “…I would make the conscious effort, once in a while, to sit patiently with a chosen artwork for at least an hour and give it the chance to tell me what it was about- to speak for itself, before I began to lay my judgments on it.”  This sounds like a great exercise and I wonder how many people can sit still for one hour without experiencing technology withdrawals.

For artists, taking the time to look and reflect is just as important as creating.  Prioritizing your time is the key to developing your eye.  As a result, your senses trump technology.

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