Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bill Viola's Artless Art

How can art be artless?

                                                                           Bill Viola, Becoming Light (2005)

The answer is simple, create art without restricting yourself. Use the media, the tools you have and do, create, be creative. Or at least that is what I think Bill Viola is trying to say. He has an understanding of the world that he obtained through understanding himself and who he is in connection to others.

In his lecture at Lawrence University he talked about two things that resonated with me. One is the importance of technology in our generation and how it is just a tool that can be used for the "good, or the bad." Viola states that we have been using technology for the wrong things and he encourages us to give it a new purpose and to teach the older generations how to stop "screwing it up." I have read McLuhan's emphasis on the media and how "the medium is the message." I am reading Jean Baudrillard's Simulations and his focus on the masking of reality through media, transforming our world into a simulated reality. I was processing all of this into a negative feeling against technology and the media. Nevertheless, after listening to Bill Viola's comment that technology just exists and what matters is how we use it, I started to question how I relate to the media. I cannot focus on my discontent of technology (specially because I use it every day), but in the way we use it for things that I do not appreciate. This gives a new direction to my artistic development.

The second thing that Viola mentioned in his lecture that interested me is his muse or inspiration, Religion. I am interested in the role of religion in human life. Viola prefers to call it spirituality, I still think he is referring to an aspect of religion. He has traveled and studied different religions capturing religious traditions. He presents religious views that can be labeled somewhat Buddhist, but that does not matter because it is about the message and spirituality, not about the religious institution or denomination. I am inspired by the way he connects his religious views to his art.

Here is the work that most fascinated me:
                                                                                         Bill Viola, Emergence (2002).

Link to YouTube video of Viola's Emergence: YouTube video

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