How do different art forms affect both the viewer and the creator? Is art an integral feature of the human condition? What does it mean to be an artist? We asked a digital artist these questions and more in an interview about art and its essence.
As humans, we are relational beings. Most obviously, we develop and rely on relationships with others (e.g., family, friends, or work associates), creating a sense of community. Less obvious are the relationships we create with ourselves, with activities we do that give us purpose, and with nature. The following poetry collection touches on a variety of impactful relationships between an individual and the self; parents, grandparents, and cherished things; community during a crisis; tribal/clan culture; and God and nature. Who are we if not a compilation of who and what we choose to surround ourselves with?
The following flash fiction/script originated from a nightmare that left the writer in a panic. How does the act of creation serve to transform negative experiences into positive ones? Is art the defining feature of humanity — the primary difference between us and all other animals? Though art has the potential to be dark and disturbing, it often exalts features of our human condition unlike any other act. What can we learn about ourselves through the art we create from confusion and suffering?
If desire is the backbone of human nature and desire often leads to loss, how can we break the psychological cycle of failure while simultaneously finding meaning in a meaningless world? The following collection of haikus remind us of our innate human drive and the traps we fall into, repeating them mindlessly over time.
The piece deals primarily with the absence of home, solitude, silence, secrecy, the passage of time, individual memory, and the willingness to admit and wrestle with contradictions, anger, destruction, and creation. How do we deal with contradictions in ourselves? Do we know they’re there? How does prolonged silence, uninterrupted aloneness, or living without a home affect the individual mind? How resilient are we against the human traumas we put ourselves through?
In this story, the protagonist has been battling a chronic condition for many years. There has been ups and down, but he is faced with a decision about freedom and living which could have drastic implications. All will die, but how? All will suffer, but how? All have the opportunity to find freedom in some thing, or some action, but the implication and vastness of the human freedom may be defined only in the individual’s heart.
What’s worse — being at the mercy of strong emotions, or feeling nothing at all? Is life better in pain, or jaded to it? How do we deceive ourselves, delude ourselves, into acceptance? Compliance?
As a condition of being human, has our own mortality prepared us for the reality of a global pandemic? Under normal conditions, dealing with death is difficult enough, but how do we grapple with being in a state of uncertainty where our safety and health is constantly in question? How much autonomy, free will, and control do we have? Can religion save us? Can science?
DISCLAIMER: The following artworks feature sexual content.
All human societies are well acquainted with unnecessary violence — but can we change this? Are the conditions under which humans live such that unnecessary violence is an integral feature of our human nature? At what level (e.g. individual, societal, national) do changes need to take place to rectify our fatal human flaw of pathological violence?
DISCLAIMER: The following artworks feature violence and sexual content.
Where do we derive meaning for our existence and how do we find happiness? Can souls be nourished like bodies? If the world is a window, what do we see when we look in as we pass it by?