Coffee + Art + Friends : Cari + Christian Brown

Coffee.CariAndChristian.PAINTED.FINAL QUOTES.jpg

Cari Brown + Christian Brown

Artists • Stuff Movers • Sameness Destroyers
Cari:

The one thing that I was thinking about was how I really like the fact that Art is an open door. It’s a doorway into ancient cultures. Or it can be a doorway into the mind or soul of the artist. It’s a doorway into a conversation and you don’t know how far that is going to take you. It’s an entry way to a path.

I really like that. I like breaking out down like that. It is the biggest thing that sticks for me. You can get a good look at a culture or understand a community. You can learn and understand so many things through a work of Art. And if you don’t understand it, it opens up to a dialogue or to questions or curiosity.

Christian:

I don’t know about a favorite favorite thing about Art. I have thought about the place in the world of us and Art. Early on, I used to think that if you look down on the planet you wouldn’t really see any evidence of our intelligence or our culture, except the re-arrangement of stuff.

Like we bring stuff to the surface and burn stuff. But really there’s no message. No big sign that transcends us  and our experience of moving back and forth and burning shit.

Cari:

Piling things up, tearing things down…

 

Christian:

What is it? We’re re-arranging stuff. We’re moving stuff around. But, I also think that Art might be the thing that is beyond us. That we don’t even understand we’re leaving behind and participating in. Well, what’s the kind of stuff that’s stuck around for a really long time? It’s Art. It’s always Art. And I think it’s pretty cool to participate in that— the remains of us and what it will be for future beings.

Why did we choose gold to structure our culture on? Because it was pretty and you can make pretty things out of it. Yeah, it’s rare and it doesn’t tarnish, but there were probably other things we could use that are rare, but this is really pretty. It was an aesthetic choice and we based our entire western culture on it.

I wonder what is intelligence and that also has to do with my thoughts about Art. If say sentients came to this planet and looked around, would they see any life or intelligence, because we’re not doing anything beyond these basic chemical processes? But they would find these objects that we made that have out-survived any living thing on this planet. Like these little stone things we protect and are valued more than life.

If we’re just going along and we’re the result of stuff, it’s like “Yeah, I understand why all this is happening. It’s because those things stuck together and got heated up.”  It’s kind of like rolling down a hill— there’s nothing really spectacular and yet it is!

 

Cari:

Do you think artists are subconsciously or unknowingly taking all the banal things that are happening and making meaning of our world by creating these objects?

 

Christian:

You could say, in a pessimistic way, that that is the meaning.

 

Cari:

The making of the thing?

 

Christian:

I’d like to think that really Art transcends all the stuff that is logical. The daily stuff, the if-then stuff, the cause and effect stuff. It’s the one thing that gets out of that pattern of — humdrum?

 

Cari:

Sameness.

 

Christian:

Yeah- the stuff that comes out, like “why the heck are they doing that? You don’t need to make a 500 foot person in the middle of the desert and then burn it.” That’s the stuff that’s getting outside the systems of logic and behavior that we have. Some of it you can use to look back and say “Ah, that’s whats really going on here.” We’re moving towards something. We’re going to need to get out of the “If/then” thinking. I think Art is really part of that.

I love the idea of identity and letting people know who you are. Are you going along with the signals? Or are you not? We have to say to people whether or not we are approachable or not approachable. Like discovering music when you are a kid, that becomes your identity— I’m the rocker, I’m a pop guy. When you’re young and you don’t have your identity, it’s a good way to start that. I don’t think we ever lose that. We’re social creatures, we have to let people know who we are. We want to let people know. In the city, fashion is so important because you see a few thousand people every day and you never get to say who you are, so you announce that by what you look like.

 

Cari:

Some of us. Some of us want to do that. Some don’t. In the study I just did for my class, I asked a question “Are the following things a creative act: dressing, preparing a meal or arranging your home.” A lot of people who did not rate themselves as creative did not see these things as a creative act at all. And of course on the other end where people were identifying themselves as highly creative, it’s a significant swing of people who think “Yes, it’s absolutely a creative act”.

There are a lot of implications to what I found in the study, but really, some people just really don’t care. Or because they don’t believe they are creative, nothing they do is going to seem creative to them. By and large, most people— even if they have rated themselves low— most people said they were creative, but only a few thought they were highly creative.

This morning I was listening to NPR about a story about imaginary friends and imagination. I got to thinking how imagination is becoming less and less a part of the evaluation of creativity. Where producing is considered a much more important marker of creativity than imagination is. There has to be an object in order for it to get validity— creating  a monument or building a big monolithic library or something like that. Whereas things that are built that might disintegrate or not be long lasting are not valued or held onto in the same way– like just pure imagination without an outcome.

 

Christian:

Well, it doesn’t leave a lot of evidence and we rely on that evidence. To either sell it or take picture of it or take a picture of yourself with it.

 

Cari:

Is it saying something? Is that what Art is? Is it a commentary?  Is it an expression or is it a reflection? It is all those things?

 

Christian:

It could depend on what you turn to Art for. I think a lot of people look at Art for comfort. For something they recognize— it’s a certain type of skill. A certain quality. They are not trying to discover something

 

Cari:

Or be startled.

 

Christian:

It’s just something to be like “Everything is ok.” Like if you turn on your favorite radio station, your DJ  you get to hear every day is on and it’s like “You’re ok. Everything’s ok.” I can totally appreciate that, but I don’t want to do that all the time.

 

Cari:

Sometimes, it’s good to be disturbed.

Christian,  have a question for you. Given the idea that Art is the message we are creating or leaving or curating for the extraterrestrials when they come down to judge us and judge our intelligence— what about making Art— beyond it being a compulsion— is the thing that draws you? What about it is important for you or for that message? When you think about art in that abstract way, what do you consider your role in it?

 

Christian:

Like Richard Dreyfus playing with his mashed potatoes?

 

Cari:

Yes.

 

Christian:

This isn’t the only way I think about it. I don’t have a lot of faith in intelligence.

 

Cari:

What would give you more faith?

 

Christian:

Just be part of the world! Act! Maybe not foolishly or irresponsibly. I don’t think all the greatest discoveries happen when you’re thinking about them.

And I don’t plan on having any discoveries. I’ve heard when you’re trying to solve a problem, you don’t usually come up with the idea when you’re trying to solve the problem. To maybe, just be part, a small part of this life form beyond myself. To just, kind of, give it breakfast one morning. Maybe get out of my own way. Maybe I haven’t thought clearly about it.

 

Cari:

I think it’s sort of like you have this idea or this glimmer and the next step is to apply curiosity to it. That’s where you begin to ask questions or to seek and make note of what you are observing. And that all is sparked from the state of being curious. And then from there you get into asking the question and then you get into the design. I think that for me, for a lot of people, curiosity can be fairly allusive. We talk about busy-ness in our culture and being curious can be difficult, challenging, scary. It’s much easier to tune out sometimes than to be curious and be wiling to look and find.

June 9, 2016 • The Brown’s Little Home on the east side • Bend, Oregon
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s