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Participation

Art and artists tend to scare people who have lost touch with their humanity. Art and artists tend to put forth whatever nearest to their humanness out for all the world to see. These things nearest to their humanness isn’t necessitated by excessive weirdness, but can be deemed as such through such a narrow window defined by societal norms. We see them everywhere, and so a ya-ya, jada-jada approach can be quickly conjured, but this is important. This is about value, visibility, thinking and categorization-calling into question values which are often unseen, ignored or topics which have been reduced through a history of devaluation.

Take for example the site of photography today. And to what value image makers are ascribed. The banal fact that making an image has grown increasingly available has translated into a murmur conversation about the devaluation of the profession, left to the exclusion of a few who can live by this work. When you really think about it though, a few photographers was really all who ever made a living by this work. So this kind of categorization is falsely ascribed to current conditions. I can’t help but think of the labor in the home, to which anyone can scrub a toilet or floor, make food, but for those who make these efforts an act of creating, again, for the exclusive to appreciate the 20x multiple flavours in one dish. And the rest, devalued. The banal fact translating into the devaluation serves not as an “of course” circumstance, but a series of unrecognised choices people have made by the unbalanced wanting of people and their labor and not wanting to give something in return. And to give, what has been contextually married to value, money. To not give another money for their effort, then enacts a sense of power and control within the beholder of the fiscal resources. Oh and by what grace do they bestow this unto another. It is not grace they exercise their dollars for, but often to exorcise their own guilt-for something within their not-always-recognised psyche-soma system is a sense that something is off balance, out of sync. For anyone in touch with their psyche-soma system will understand the sheer radiance experienced as a joy in giving. Giving to others, fills a psyche-soma body with pleasure, and for those numb to their bodies-these sentences (even as a suggestion or perhaps a statement) may be so foreign, as to be also disregarded.

The devaluing of human labor came not by chance, but rather by inattentive viewers of content to which they fill themselves up with. Overflowing to the brim with whatever came at them, was given or purchased. And by putting the focus there, the participation with anything outside of such activities became marginalized-a ripening step for devaluation. The only thing real for people not actually participating but giving the impression of participation is that which is imagined. They live in an imaginary world, so refined and insulted from anything outside of narrow social boundaries, that any contact with participation, of efforts to value human labor and life may be unknowingly and knee-jerk reaction to rejection-complete denial of an insidious situation. And so a society that has made exclusive the arts has made exclusive the inborn ability to exercise and participate deeply with personal and social humanity. The access people can enter into art, through critical discourse, through open dialogue, through the confronting of fear, need not be so complicated-but is has been, particularly for anyone who may be contextually categorised as similar to subjected by a subjugator.

Be not angry at all though, no. Be passive and hope for change. The social prominence and permittance of certain emotions is a complex study which I continually find myself curious and confounded by. The emotions that which are attractive for a chosen few of bodies to express has grown too limited. The facial expressions which are permitted have been neutered and trimmed, groomed and primmed. This way or that, or no one will look at all. What happened to no? what happened to voice. What happened to pausing for a second? To people coming together for means other than business or institutional education. The great power of witness I am reminded of over and over by simply being fully present with another. And an awe which I can most ascribed to the sensation of bliss when recognizing such awe in witnessing the inherent value each life has to give. And when that life cannot give, for the life within that psyche-soma system may have been systemically supressed, subjugated, willfullingly confused or purposefully position obscured from information, encouragement can do wonders. To squander and waste the gifts of others because you are too busy is a misstep for us all-for then, the humanity in life evaporates and gets carried up on the the glass towers of capital.

There is not higher than or greater than, lesser than or lower. There is not either equal. There are differences and there between the differences lays the common ground. To seek common ground, we can rediscover and regain our humility, the arts, and the artists become enacted through all persons willing to see the value in participating.

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