Thursday, September 17, 2009

Im doing an art piece at the moment which involves tearing things out of newspapers. I found it interesting to see that, in one issue of the Guardian weekend inserts there was an abundance of headlines with titles such as

"After the fall"
"When the world was about to end"
"hard, but unfair"
"Crude Injustice"
and the so-sarcastic-you-can-almost-taste-it - "How did life get so good?"

each the headers of distinct and separate articles. I hold the view that newspapers perform, apart from the obvious current events coverage, the function of reflecting the wider anxieties and collective emotions of the society they are produced within. (perhaps also fairly obvious to most - certainly not a new idea; see "The Daily Mirror", ) I thought it was worth commenting on the fact that I'm obviously not the only one who is currently taking an intellectual interest in the fate of mankind. (that sounds a bit melodramatic, but unfortunately I am finding language a bit limiting in this instance - perhaps it would be more accurate to say, "where mankind is headed?" or "the direction mankind is taking?")

However, there is another trend also evident - examples:

"A new force for good"
"Built into the fabric of life"
"Hope springs"
"problem solved"
"Mother Courage"

I think, with the current state of the economy/etc it's natural that society will be living in a heightened state of anxiety and natural for our papers and literature to reflect that. But also, it's quite heartening to see a pre-occupation with prospects of hope and the future. I know it probably seems like I'm reading too much into something fairly irrelevant and I must hasten to reassure that I'm not ascribing any kind of significance or meaning to what is at the end of the day more or less fairly innocuous co-incidence; I merely found it mildly interesting and a good starting point for discussion.

Basically I think what I'm driving at is that, distinct from our own individualistic emotional states, we also exist as part of our species - I am me and that means I am one, but I could not be one was there not others, and so I have a sort of dual identity, as a person and as part of my species. And like all beings I serve my own interests but, on a big enough scale, on the grandest scheme of things, we all serve the same interest of survival. And when that is threatened, everything else stops.

I am finding it difficult to properly express my ideas on this particular subject - hopefully completing the art piece will have enabled me to properly structure my thoughts a bit better!

I'm going to go back to listening to Vietnam-era American rock music and sticking things on my wall :-)