regulating anxiety / relevance to doing artist

the creative act is defined as the introduction of alternatives to what already exists within cultural practice or knowledge. artists toy with ways of being and knowing pressing the edges of regimes of convention. They do so in their choices of material, form, process, subject matter, theme, product and point of public contact. And these do so by manners of calling attention to, complaint, contrariety, countering, and codifying alternatives.

this these acts have destabilizing ramifications not just on the viewer of art or art process but also on the artist. the artists acts, creative doings, imply that one way of being or knowing may be faulty or out of sync wight the way things “really” are. most ways of being and knowing are hyper complex a tapestry of multiple “truths”. If i yank one thread out of the tapestry, all the matrix is put at risk. i put  at risk the realization of myself, other, and convention as intelligible and viable. therefore i believe that the artist must engage activities that regulate their response to risk in a way that allows them to maintain their passionate persistence in their creative practice. more aptly put by Judith Butler riffing on Foulcault’s What is Critique? 

  1. to call into questions a regime of truth
  2. where the regime governs subjectivation (methods of agency)
  3. is to call into question the truth of oneself and, indeed,
  4. to questions one’s ability to tell the truth about oneself, to give an account of oneself.
  5. Thus, if I question the regime of truth, I question, too, the regime through which being, and my own ontological status, is allocated; critique is not merely of a given social practice, or a certain horizon of intelligibility within which practices and institutions appear, but critique also implies that I come into question for myself.
  6. Self-questioning becomes an ethical consequence …
  7. But it also turns out that self-questioning of this sort involves putting oneself at risk and
  8. imperiling the very possibility of being recognized by others, since
  9. to question the norms of recognition that govern what I might be…is, in relation to the present regime, to risk unrecognizability as a subject or at least to become the occasion for posing the questions of who one is(or can be) and whether or not one is recognizable.Butler (Judith Butler in Conversation, 30)

The artist who presses up against conventional norms as a practice, needs a method of regulating anxiety over the risk of their own undoing caused by their practice. Just because one is more prone to press convention does not nullify dependence upon the social in how to function within the world.The artist is not autonomous from convention, from other.

The other option is regulate risk itself through a reduction or cessation of pressing convention. But would this not be then becoming un-artist? So the artist can regulate anxiety and reconfigure them self as a result of their convention perturbation so that they may continue pressing and retain, stabilize their identity as artist and as a particular type of artist. Or they can reduce risk. In terms of artists that have seminal effects on conventions, on culture, there appears to be regulation of mood (states of arousal) and reconfiguration of identity so that they may remain passionately persistent in their practice.


does the art practice, art object, function as another “other” for which the artist performs? Is the art practice an extension of the artists self into the public domain? If I put my questions, counters, pressings of convention into the art object does it distance or minimize the ramifications to my own personhood? how does the artists practice do and undo them self?


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