Friday, May 11, 2007


"It's not disillusionment, it's callibration."

---Mihnea Mircan, a curator at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest, speaking at a curators conference organized this week by Stroom in The Hague. He was answering a question about a shift in the way he deals with the political ramifications of his work. See a brief essay by Mircan here.

I am the recipient of a grant from Stroom and was asked to write a short description of my work for an online portfolio the organization maintains. This is what I wrote:

My work, all of it, from music to video to installations to texts and so on, is an attempt to answer a question posed by environmentalist author Derrick Jensen: "What are sane and appropriate responses to insanely destructive behavior?" Or this question, from architect/designer William McDonough: "How do we love all of the children of all of the species for all time?" It is a reply to the call to arms of Albert Camus: "Create dangerously" or that of Martin Luther King, Jr.: "The world is in dire need of creative extremists". It is a recognition of the extraordinary danger industrial civilization poses to the natural world, and a reaction to this danger, spoken in a language the people destroying the planet cannot speak.

Which, as it happens, doesn't change a damn thing. Have a nice day.


jason said...

"What are sane and appropriate responses to insanely destructive behavior?"

It's certainly a pressing question, but I was wondering if you could be more specific regarding what kind of answers you've come up with. Your statement leaves a lot open to the imagination (which I realize was probably your intention), but I couldn't get the links to work on your website and so was wondering if you could either (a) link to some of your work that attempts to respond to this challenge, or (b) describe your efforts more precisely in words. Sorry if this is repetitious for long-time readers; I only ask because I am similarly interested in such a question.

Keir said...

Hi Jason, thanks for stopping by. I should start by saying that I'm uncomfortable with self-promotion, and do what little I do to try to survive and get some rent paid.

That website is still under construction, but I cannot guarantee that my works, once linked, will prove illuminating. I realize that my statement leaves me open to challenges of the sort you pose. So I apologize if this response seems like a cop out. It's not. Here's a paraphrase of something I first saw in a book by Derrick Jensen:

I'm pointing at the moon. Don't look at my finger. Look at the moon.

I don't do self-portraits.

jason said...

No problem, I wouldn't be able to be very specific either -- but maybe that's why I haven't made very much art in the past year.

Keir said...

Jason you keep a very good blog. I don't know if it helps but perhaps if you want to make art you should think about it the way you do the blog, i.e. make work that does not serve the interests of the enemies of the earth. Tall order, I know. And us just sitting here behind their computers, having a communication mediated by them, demonstrating unintentionally the facade of freedom ... well, how about making work that serves their interests as little as possible...?