Why do you share?

Saturday, 13 April 2013

The question that lingers from my sessions with Jennie Kiessling: Why do you share your work?
Why do you make it? Why do you share it?
I wonder about it. It seems a compulsion, but without reason? I doubt it.

This section from Thomas Bey William Bailey’s book “Unofficial Release”, quoting David Tibet (whose work I feel very ‘meh’ about) rings true, it resonates to a surprising degree.

Steven [Stapleton] and I always thought [the recordings] would be sent into the wilderness, as no one would care. Apparently people do, either by loving what we have done, or hating it. I do it because I am driven to do it. I [also] translate Coptic because I am driven to do it.

Tibet then admits that small-scale approval is not unwelcome, but he firmly rejects that approval (or rejection) of any kind is an influencing factor:

I have met many friends through what I have done. And friends always help us in our self-inquiry. I am interested in what people who know me think of my work, but only inasmuch as I am also interested in what they think of my new cat. Finally the work is ONLY for me. If those who know me make comments on it, I reflect on them deeply; but they don’t affect what I would have done. If fans like my work, I am happy. If they don’t, I am equally happy,


  1. I think there are two questions:

    Why do you work? Whose answer is very complicated.
    Why do you share? Whose answer, in my case, is simple:
    Not everything has to do with money.

    Posted by miquel | April 13, 2013 11:32 pm
  2. Miquel,
    Yes. I wonder more about sharing in terms of ‘making it public’ – sharing it with friends and others. Why not keep it private? If the art is made for you, why share it with anyone?

    Posted by C. Reider | April 14, 2013 10:37 am
  3. I believe that a work of art is a special kind of information, and the definition of information is meaningless if it is not shared. Sometimes I like to think of an artist in a dialogue with himself in a conversation with him, pure, uncontaminated by society. But this is a mirage, this type of individuality does not exist, others give us meaning. The romantic and bourgeois invention of individuality has been good to capitalism to maximize their profits.

    Posted by miquel | April 21, 2013 10:59 am
  4. Interesting thoughts. I think of your comment in two ways. If meaningfulness is on a larger, universal level, there is no real meaning to the work, whether shared or not. On the pesonal level, meaning may be found by the creator. I am coming to the conclusion that the creation and the sharing are two facets in a process of self-inquiry. If doing & sharing aren’t aiding in the process of learning how to be, then there is a flaw, probably due to a lack of attention.

    Posted by C. Reider | April 21, 2013 12:02 pm
  5. At the universal level I agree with you: nothing makes sense (this is one of the most beautiful phrases I know) On a personal level, despite consider art as a form of self-knowledge, one of the things that gives us meaning are others. Pretending not share what we do is like walking down the street without anyone look. It may seem convenient, because actually go from one place to another and not interested in the people we see, but in reality it’s sick, because one of the things that make sense to us are them. What I mean is that you can create something and keep it in a drawer, but would like a lifeless Golem. Like having a child and not let you leave home.

    Posted by miquel | April 21, 2013 12:59 pm
  6. Miquel,

    I think maybe I disagree with you here. I am, in fact, compelled to share, it is something I feel like I must do – but I am beginning to think unshared music may be a separate special thing. An offering to the void. Sometimes you share something, and almost no one listens to it, is that really different from not sharing it at all? Ultimately, even if you have a very popular release, it is STILL an offering to the void.

    Posted by C. Reider | April 21, 2013 3:32 pm
  7. On one level, we agree: everything we do end in emptiness. Furthermore, in many cases, and perhaps always, music is personal, what counts is the time to be doing it, and that’s a difficult experience to share.

     But on another level, imagine you finding a cure for cancer, you can do three things:

    1. Patent it and get rich.
    2. Share it.
    3. Keep it in a drawer and offer vacuum.

    Whatever you do, the end will be an offering vacuum. But while, if you decide Share save millions. The key is the “while”: it is the time of existence.

    You may say that you can not cure cancer compared with an album made ​​with noise. But I believe that human culture evolves jointly by abstraction. Something like a chaotic system (as an attractor). Thus, any contribution has the power to affect the entire system. Or, conversely, does not affect anything.

    I have a koan for this nice discussion: Buddha decided to return.

    Posted by miquel | April 28, 2013 10:01 am
  8. Yes, this is a false analogy. The cancer treatment at best will reduce suffering, the new piece of art may add to culture and benefit some – or it may not. The outcomes for both are very different.

    This raises more questions:
    Do you wish to participate in culture? Do you wish (as a result) to change culture?
    Do you find it helpful to interact with those who have experience of your artwork?

    Posted by C. Reider | April 28, 2013 11:33 am
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