Jacob Mann

As the world turns, so does our understanding of the realities and falsehoods of the forces that spin our little ball of dirt around the solar system. As Anthony Kiedis put it, “the more I see, the less I know.”

With the rise of the internet came great strides in sharing information across the globes and countless other social and societal benefits, but there of course came an equally powerful and contrasting cost on the other side the “World Wide Web.”

The strands of any web, silk, digital, and otherwise ensnare those foolish or simply unlucky enough to get too close. Many people acknowledge how rampant misinformation and political divisions have been in recent years, yet many still fall victim to spreading toxic memes, fake news, and general ugliness. Oftentimes these unproductive posts are done mindlessly while browsing through your feed or in heated bouts of passion, like after a bad day and seeing a post you don’t agree with.

I don’t pretend to have any solution, nor do I intend to preach, judge, or necessarily sound any kind of alarm. I simply want to say that art, the act of creation in whatever form it takes can be just as much of our salvation as our damnation.

Created works of art, whether it’s a painting, poem, film, sculpture, or handknitted sweater. The same can be said about science since it’s the twin soul of art, the other half of the same coin. Critical and creative thinking, the left and right side of the brain are often juxtaposed, but they are really just mental and spiritual lenses we use to see the world around us to justify and try to explain our earthly existences.

Both schools of thought are equally important. Both are acts of creation and both are equally capable of destruction if put in the wrong hands and spread amongst the masses. They are metaphorical constructs that shape our realities and alter the course of human history, means to an end, and tools for the trade. Like all tools, our brains can be useful when they’re working correctly, but dangerous if improperly handled.

I’m reminded all too often of the bittersweet truth of how joyous and how agonizing the human experience can be. Creating something, no how is an act we all can relate to. With so much content flooding our screens and so many things being put into the ether, I see no reason why we all can’t take a second to stop and think before we consume our next piece of media. I’ve heard you are what you eat, from your head to your feet.

Here are several quotes regarding art and the human experience:

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

— Thomas Merton

“Art is a line around your thoughts.”

— Gustav Klimt

“To be an artist is to believe in life.”

— Henry Moore

“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.”

— René Magritte

“Art should be something that liberates your soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further.”

— Keith Haring

“Art is never finished, only abandoned.”

— Leonardo da Vinci

“Art is to console those who are broken by life.”

— Vincent Van Gogh

“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.”

Neil Gaiman

“Art is standing with one hand extended into the universe and one hand extended into the world, and letting ourselves be a conduit for passing energy.”

— Albert Einstein

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

Load comments