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The Clock and Other Thoughts

N. and I went out to the Museum of Contemporary Art today to see the new exhibition on time there, which includes Christian Marclay's the Clock, a twenty four hour collage film that has sampled hundreds of film to create this complex vision of time.

It's superb, really, well worth the trip to see for itself. The collage follows real time and samples an endless amount of films to constantly refer to that time. N. and I watched close to half an hour of it, and I could have honestly stayed for the entire thing, except that there was a line out there, and I'd gotten it. It's a pretty simple concept, but it's the execution, the sheer insanity of constructing the whole twenty four hours that really makes it. So once it hit three in the film (and three outside), we left, giving up our seats for someone else. We checked out the rest of the exhibition, which is also on time, and there was some cool stuff there. I particularly enjoyed the installation that chronicled the last twenty-four hours in the life of the artist's brother, though I have forgotten the artist, and goggle won't give it to me easy.

Afterward, it got me thinking, not on time, per se, or anything like that, but on the nature of art. Lately, I've been putting a lot of thought and time into commercial art, as I would like to make some more money, a dirty thing, no doubt. But, y'know, life, and such. It has demands. Commercial art doesn't have to be bad, or poorly thought out--but at the same time, it has to have a certain appeal, and it's not too difficult to go off into work that has no mass appeal at all; that you can go off into work that is difficult, obscure, and which aims to alienate an audience. On any given day, my mind is usually working on three to four ideas, tossing around various concepts to success and failure, but I've been purposefully thinking of the more commercial ones of late, neglecting the more artistic ones.

I was reminded, I guess, of the need for balance in art. I think it's very often lost when artists talk--possibly because they're all so busy trying to get a break, to become successful, in the many ways you can be, that the individual artistic desire can be lost. You don't often hear, for example, of an author talking about creating something knowing that it will have a limited audience, and that they're okay with that. You don't hear of publishers saying that, either. But still, it's important to do that at times, to sit up and say, yeah, I created this because it spoke to me in a multiple ways and I know it's kind of difficult and obscure and that a lot of people won't dig it. It's just as important as creating something that a lot of people like, that brings a lot of pleasure to an audience, in the many ways that it can exist.

Anyhow, such was my vague thought, and this idea that I need to nurture both parts of my art, and my desires, both worldly and intellectually.