Olivia North

future eyes olivia north


 "Within the space of the unknown, endless creativity blossoms. This is the song of truth. This is what us as artists follow with a passionate fervor. There has never been a predictable future for art, let alone a known one. Artists exist in the in-betweens, the liminal spaces. We usher in new generations through recycling and re-creating all we have ever seen. We ask the toughest question, "who are we?" and we diligently try to answer it with the tools in our buckets. Within the space of every unknown humanity has ever faced, creativity was necessary to get through it and learn from it and build on it. I do not know the future of art, only that we absolutely, without a doubt, need it to be human.

It has been stated by many philosophers that artists walk the shadow realm, the night, and that they are in commun with the moon and stars and their own darkness. They do the work of processing the deep emotional pain of the human race, they are our martyrs. We as artists feel the shifts of tides, moods, we feel the imbalances and purities. Existing where it is uncomfortable for most, so as to create the most truthful art to ourselves. This can be seen in all levels of art, including the most public, most funded, most desired art. There is always a reflection of the current culture, even if that is transitioning from one to the next. 

In my lifetime, I have seen a stark transition from the quiet and wholesome 90s to the buzzing and media-filled current year of 2020. Art is so closely up to date with technology, politics and culture that it leads most of us on our journeys. Those persons consuming tv shows, movies, magazines, Facebook articles, Instagram posts, even when not aware of it, are actively engaging in cultural shifts by doing so. There are a lot of marketing schemes, wicked psychology and mind-control that go into the media, no doubt about it. There are also artists, leaders, thinkers and activists behind these media posts, commercials, movies and YouTube videos, and they are using the global tool of media to spread new cultural ideas. While it is still somewhat of a battle between "the good" and "the evil" of media, it remains an available tool for anyone to use to express and share their ideas, and within that we see inspiring collaboration, iconic internet-breaking content and a growing polyculture of humans who understand that they actively creating what they want to see in the world.

As we create, we build upon both that which works, that which has never worked and that which cannot work any longer. Everything that has happened or been created is available for our use, and incorporating this knowledge is key to a successful society. In terms of art, originality is not necessary, it is not the point, and those that see it that way are missing a whole world of ideas. Art is available for us as a way to re-imagine and re-create. We are filled with images and ideas constantly, and we process these with our own experiences and create our own realities as well as our art pieces. As we go forward into the future, that being the only direction we can go, it is becoming increasingly more important to be creative with old and outdated concepts rather than a heavy focus on new inventions and technology. And yet, we simply cannot foster creative minds without the intense influence of art. Children need poignant artistic outlets and inspirations when young if they are to grow into creative adults. This is how we become more and more creative: we make and consume more and more art. In this way, we can look upon society, politics, science, technology and say "I could do this better" as you may critique an art piece, a necessary process for re-invention. And then you make it, make it better! 

How does art do this? How does art lead us to re-invent the way we perceive and use energy, the way we understand political systems or the way we end a pandemic? We as humans bear witness to our thoughts, we allow them to gestate in our guts and brains, and even sometimes rot, just to get to the goddamn core of it all. There are so many questions science can answer, and infinitely more that it cannot and probably never will. But we are only looking for answers in the form of words, which is extremely limiting. Language is: beautiful, intelligent, fascinating, with limits. It exists primarily in one part of the brain, it does not entirely coincide with sensations, color, memory, sleep, breath, balance, all of which are also fascinating, if not vital. Art allows for all. Art is limitless, completely unbound by any rules, though influence is heavy. But we do not have to explain it, we can simply create and that, that alone can be our description of the universe, of the human experience. And who is to say that has any less truth than the scientific theories? Existing in the limitless is only possible once your brain understands what that feels like. Many geniuses, including mathematicians, scientists, musicians, writers and so forth have discovered solutions to their life work questions in their dreams, which is a highly artistic representation of reality that your brain produces.  One would only discover such answers if one allowed the brain to think in this way, without form and limit. 

My belief is that all form is limiting, which is not always a negative thing at all. We need limits in order to achieve certain goals and answer certain equations. However, when it comes to something as vast and important as the future, whether it is the future of art, of humanity or of the planet, it does not serve to place limits on thought, experience and expression. I'm listening to the artists, the dancers, the psychonauts, the dream travelers, the gurus, the dying, the babies, the ones who get so deep into all we are that they do not care about what we are not. They have answers in their essence, in their bones, in their breath; dancing with them is the only way I see the light. To express is to be human, and we would not be where we are without intense creativity. We are all artists, is the truth, so I believe in a human future of endless artistic expression, or no human future at all."

Image by Charis Kirchheimer

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