Michèle LaRose, a blog reader, asked me the following question:
“What role does contemplation play in art these days? By the artist when creating art, and by the viewers of art. Given the breakneck speed of life nowadays, is serious contemplation even possible, or seen as a useful part of creativity and seeing art? I have been reading the recent book on Agnes Martin and find her arguments for isolation and uninterrupted time in the studio compelling, especially for today. And yet the move towards participatory art and movements like relational aesthetics seems to suggest that such focused contemplation has gone the way of the dodo bird. What do you think?”
In my opinion, contemplative withdrawal from the world, from time to time, is a good thing, and can be productive. Your practice can benefit. It’s not mystical, but really pragmatic, because, as you suggest, society is a bit too much sometimes. However, my experience has also shown me that the benefits of quietness and solitude don’t necessarily include improved work. Just because you feel good about your own process doesn’t mean your work is any better. Objectivity is also necessary, and in art, unlike in science, that can’t exist without other people.
As to the other question, for me all forms of art are equally participatory and interactive.
However, blogs can be more or less interactive, so I’m glad about your question.