Rien de rien
By Kerry O'Connor
My brain utters ‘Create! Anything! Be artistic! Inspiring! Please?!’ but my body is reciprocating nothing. For a creative individual, not making is a disruption to furthering your goal. To begin an artistic career, one generally must express themselves. Yet, I still manage to find myself gripped to a new series on Netflix, writing endless lists I do not fulfil and becoming sucked in by the infinite links of ‘related’ content provided by Google. Next minute you know, it’s been 3 hours of relentless procrastination; I have danced around my room to Patti Smith’s ‘Easter’ album and have work in 6 hours.
As I reflect upon my postponing towards physically creating, a bell is beginning to sound within my thoughts. There is doing nothing and there is an art of doing nothing. Reading this line over stimulates uncertainty as if I’m excusing myself from being unproductive. However, taken from a person who generally struggles to take those 3 hours of relaxation, I feel like I can say I am on to something with this one. Therefore, I hope you agree too.
It is best that I start off with defining my thoughts towards the art of doing nothing. Let's say, you’ve had a week full of 10-hour shifts, no room to think twice about how many hours until you can give your brain a rest. Let alone how to stimulate the world artistically. You get home; start searching for…
‘New sounds to motivate your mood, current interests on the tips of tongues, cult films online, Larry Clark, Nan Goldin, Robert Mapplethorpe, Patti Smith, Google images - Patti Smith, women in suits, bold suits, eBay- 70’s suits for women’.
Do you get my drift?
Along the road of endless searching, you are withdrawing information of interest. Your unconsciousness is pick-pocketing imagery, language and discussions from the passer-by known as procrastination. I am a strong believer of never forcing yourself to create if it doesn’t feel right. (Thank you art school and your looming crits, you taught me to permit myself to be in progress.) Sometimes there is an obvious block, you need to withdraw yourself, take time to indulge further into what interests you. Let your brain toil on how to respond to the world. To just make is a forced behaviour and what are you really saying if you are forced to speak with no intention. Emptiness.
I guess the Art of Doing Nothing can be summarised as the permission to provide oneself with periods of investing in their surroundings and indulgences. Working out what continues to permit you to question, enjoy and grow.
If you can’t indulge in your world, how can you expect to artistically treat the world of others?