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Old 03-08-2002, 09:17 PM   #1
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Is sharing your art/experience/poetry/music cheapening it?

Sometimes I write something or have a life experience that is so precious and deep that I feel if I share it with other people it is therefore 'cheapened'. Some people will argue that it is in fact nobler to share it as it may help or inspire people and I do believe that, too. To further complicate things, I do want to share certain things to get it off my chest or maybe just advise someone. Still, I can't help feeling that doing so somehow violates or dishonours the experience/art.

How many of you feel this way, or better yet, feel the opposite? And why?

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Old 03-09-2002, 03:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray:
Sometimes I write something or have a life experience that is so precious and deep that I feel if I share it with other people it is therefore 'cheapened'.

I believe "specious" is the term...something that seems to be beautiful but is not really so...sorta like a trend/fad. I've thought the same thing, too. There's this trend nowadays to have an online journal or expression of one's feelings and thoughts online for the world to see (if they can find it). Before I started it, I knew I wouldn't want to reveal everything because, to me, it's not something for me. I'm not one of those artsy type who get off throwing my most intimate and personal experiences all over the wall. There are people like that...I believe they do it to get some attention right away...therefore, it
becomes more of a "whoring" situation instead of an honest opening up and sharing with people.
However, there are some issues that I need to address in writing just so I can get my thoughts organized...like what writing should be....not some draft for a best-seller....just a record of being alive and aware.
I find that if I write something that I'm going through at that very moment...nothing makes sense...so, I feel that looking back on things...however "deep" they seemed at the time...turn out to be either deeper or shallower....thus, the feeling that I get too of my experiences being somehow "cheap" on paper...nothing really happened, in other words, to warrant a recitation on paper...or once I see it as black and white I find out how bad a writer I am )...I couldn't really express what I felt because it was TOO DEEP.

Some people will argue that it is in fact nobler to share it as it may help or inspire people and I do believe that, too.

One can't predetermine the effects of one's writings on another person. However, I can be pretty sure that noone on earth experiences anything truly UNIQUE that at least ONE other person has not experienced before.
To further complicate things, I do want to share certain things to get it off my chest or maybe just advise someone. Still, I can't help feeling that doing so somehow violates or dishonours the experience/art.

How many of you feel this way, or better yet, feel the opposite? And why?

foray

I've experienced A LOT in my life and I'm only 25. However, not everyone will understand what I've went through or what I'm trying to say about it.

The only really good advice I've heard about when to desiminate one's knowledge or insights was something I've read in the Bible...

Jesus told his disciples that they had pearls of wisdom that they should guard and not cast before swine.

There are people out there who take information you or I may value TREMENDOUSLY and turn around and cheapen it by somehow trampling on it with their words/ reactions or by just misusing/misquoting it....selling it off as their own.

Choose your confidants carefully.
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Old 03-09-2002, 10:26 AM   #3
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This is a tough one fors.
First off, I think there's things in life that aren't meant to be shared. We may want to, but it can be better to just keep it to ourselves and cherish it rather than try to portray it in anyway so others may get some inkling of what we felt.
Then there's everything else. I hope I'm not going off on a tangent here as I think your question could be interpreted different ways.
With me, the problem lies first off with me and my ability or lack thereof. I may desperately want to use something but balls it up so it doesnt do it justice in the end. That to me is a huge shame, probably the biggest. Then there's the criticism from others, which I cant handle at the best of times, and if they completely fail to understand something I've worked very hard on it ends up making me feel like I have ruined it. In the end I reckon its best to just choose very carefull what you show other people. I think its ok to stuff it up every now and then, cos you always know what your intention was. But for me I keep it to myself.
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Old 03-09-2002, 11:37 AM   #4
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Well, it is the writer's eternal internal conflict isn't it? I am a firm believer in sharing experiences so we can gains something from them. However, when it comes to my writing, I rarely show it or even tell pepole I do it. But for me, it's more of a "oh, what if everyone hates it?" kind of fear opposed to "does this cheapen what I'm saying?" (though the latter question has been run through my mind several times). I don't really have an answer...sorry. But if you have faith in it, show it.

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Old 03-09-2002, 11:42 AM   #5
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I agree with what Secret Squirrel said, in that "there are some things in life that are not meant to be shared".

However, I do not believe that sharing your work "cheapens it" in any way. I do know that some people have been helped tremendously by sharing with others. DO NOT share your work for the sake of sharing with others, but only if it's something that you feel you want to do. I think that's what "cheapens" it.

I am an artist. I love for people to see my paintings, however there are some paintings that I do just because I like them, or have an idea that I would never want to share.

I think that what you have to be careful of is where/when you share it. The time has to be right for you, and an appropriate place.

[This message has been edited by ABEL (edited 03-09-2002).]
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Old 03-09-2002, 12:23 PM   #6
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I think part of being an artist is being able to put anything and everything you've ever felt or experienced into your "art" in a manner that is not directly discernable with a biographical inspection. In other words, your art shouldn't seem like an autobiography -- I've never viewed this sort of thing as art, yet many great works of art have a subtle inflection of the artist's life. For instance, Charlotte Perkins Gilman suffered from severe melancholia during her life, which she eventually emerged from, and later reflected on it with a frightening and disturbing short story entitled, "The Yellow Wallpaper." The characters and situations bared no resemblence to her own life, but the methodical dustruction of the protagonists's sanity most certainly did, in some way, maybe not quite to the same extreme, but you get the idea. Or we notice in Evvard Munch's paintings, perhaps, his often morose reflections on his childhood traumas, which included the death of his mother and sister from tuberculosis, and his sexual anxieties are seen in his portrayals of women... What am I getting at, you ask? It's all there in the art, I think, if you want to see it. Did the extrapolation of these elements in their personal lives denigrate or violate the experience of the 'self' at all for these artists? Is Bono misguided in sharing his spiritual inspirations with the world? Are we wrong to read the words of Anne Frank? I know there is a lot of bad art out there, I guess it returns to the question of intent -- I think sometimes people do rip-off their own experiences, and this is usually painfully obvious, but I don't think I've read any or that in here, though I have probably read more than a few things perpetuating one's own ego (myself included, though, I think it can be said that we are all guilty of that).

It wasn't long ago that I would have answered this question with a resounding "yes," but I moved beyond this mode of thought, that doesn't mean that I'm right, it just means that, for me, I feel that I'm losing these things in some sense if I don't relate them, however subtle they may be, however much I keep them veiled. In fact, I think that's one of the things I've learned -- there needs to be some level of confusion in art. My life is really not all that interesting, once I got past that, I think it opened up new realms for me, it's proving very difficult, I'm struggling to find my way in that direction, but I don't feel there is any reverse mode. See here, I've just gone about perpetuating that "ego" thing, it's been fun though, and I have to go pour myself some more coffee and do the laundry (maybe).

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Old 03-09-2002, 08:48 PM   #7
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foray, I actually feel the opposite, because of the way I view life, right now at least. I don't think there's any good in my own life unless I can make it into something people can connect with...and art is that connection. Unforunately my ideas are blatant and basic in art but true artists... I can't say what they've done for me in those moments when I've felt like there's no one else who could possibly feel the way I do, and then I hear this song, or read this story, and it's like a resounding "oh my God, I'm only human!"...shock, horror

Wanderer said far better than I could ever say what I feel about art. I love The Yellow Wallpaper by the way, just read that one...did she have scizophrenia because I just saw A Beautiful Mind and that's the story it made me think of but now I cannot remember...yes back to the topic:

the one thing I do get though, is I feel guilty recieving compliments; I mean obviously it makes me feel good, but at the same time I don't think I should be taking credit for something that.. oh I don't even know how to say it. But it's like having people like it suddenly makes it not real.......
shit I think I know what you mean

but art is worthless without people. I've confused myself fors, can you read that? good question..

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Old 03-09-2002, 09:27 PM   #8
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What about people who have to write for a living?
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Old 03-10-2002, 12:34 AM   #9
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But does anyone really have to write for a living? Couldn't one just choose to be a carpenter instead? If you're talking about journalism, than I'm not sure the journalist is really sharing her own experiences. Certainly it's an art form to write with skill and precision, but I'm not sure that falls into the same category as creative art.

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Old 03-10-2002, 04:58 AM   #10
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Those who write for a living have no choice, believe me.

And as for connecting with people, I don't really care much for people. My answer to you foray is that your work is always on the risk of being cheapened if people misinterpret your work, however, that is not to say that showing your work is WRONG, all I'm saying is that showing it is not particularly important, atleast not to me. If you should write it, God will know about it - God's a pretty large audience, and there'll be no risk of 'cheapening'.

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Old 03-10-2002, 06:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Wanderer:
But does anyone really have to write for a living? Couldn't one just choose to be a carpenter instead? If you're talking about journalism, than I'm not sure the journalist is really sharing her own experiences. Certainly it's an art form to write with skill and precision, but I'm not sure that falls into the same category as creative art.


On that basis, you don't really have to do anything! Journalism is an art, it does reveal experience and knowledge and, if you are in the game long enough, you will from time to time write about personal experiences.

Another one. Architecture. That's an art if ever there was one. And they have to design things for people to live in. So it might be an idea if they shared their ideas.

And musicians need to share things otherwise they'd have no living either.

It is all a matter of part necessity, part design.
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Old 03-10-2002, 11:45 AM   #12
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ok bullet, I agree with you, I'm just not really sure if that's what foray was talking about, I mean, if you want to get technical, designing automobiles, or building things like a carpenter... or even becoming a master in culinary -- it's all one form of art or another, isn't it?
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Old 03-10-2002, 04:15 PM   #13
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"Is sharing your art/experience/poetry/music cheapening it?"



I wouldn't know because I'm not an artist. I'm a corporate clone, living on Starbucks coffee and driving the same drive every day. I have completely sold my soul. I have no soul. I live in concrete. I love concrete. I'm bathing in concrete as we speak.
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Old 03-10-2002, 08:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Wanderer:
ok bullet, I agree with you, I'm just not really sure if that's what foray was talking about, I mean, if you want to get technical, designing automobiles, or building things like a carpenter... or even becoming a master in culinary -- it's all one form of art or another, isn't it?

Precisely! Maybe this question should be limited to "the" arts.
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Old 03-10-2002, 10:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by pub crawler:
"Is sharing your art/experience/poetry/music cheapening it?"



I wouldn't know because I'm not an artist. I'm a corporate clone, living on Starbucks coffee and driving the same drive every day. I have completely sold my soul. I have no soul. I live in concrete. I love concrete. I'm bathing in concrete as we speak.
Hey...that's some good poetry, pub crawler!

I think I finally understand now what the root of the "cheapness" is....In order for something to be cheapened it has to be compared to something that seems of GREATER value. I strongly believe that individual or group forms of self expression should never be compared.

However, being fallable, we tend to WANT to compare things without even realizing it sometimes..it's like automatic...it's like a built in guidence system we use everyday to buy stuff with and to pick a mate with. I think that needs to be put on the shelf when it comes to some things...like ART.

On the other hand, I'm not ignoring that I do believe that there is a GREATNESS out there. There is something out there that IF we want to personally...we can compare our ideas of life to. God. He is supposed to be the originator of everything we take in in life...light, food, love, air, song, landscapes, infinity. He is the supreme artist. But I'm not going to IMPOSE or INSTITUTIONALIZE my ideas for what GOD is on other people..i'm keeping it to myself...UNLESS...someone ASKS ME.
Is that what you're asking me?

Hey, I can recognize good art..for art's sake...but I think I can JUDGE art to...whether something is generally fit for human consuption.

I don't want to read or see anything having to do with insane people's ideas of reality. But IF i was a psychologist and could study the writings for some insight into a diseased mind...well, then I would be interested.

So, I guess...what it boils down to, is WHO do you want to attract with your outpouring of "art". Are you doing it for EGO, attention? Are you doing it for education/journalism? Are you doing it for "catharsis", prove something to yourself? There's a reason for everything.

Oh, and I really do believe that whatever we do in life that ISN'T glorifying GOD...is not worth anything anyway. I leave it to the individual to determine whether or not somethin glorifies God.





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