In the winter of 2012 I was invited to join the Creative Time Young Ambassadors. Our first meeting was held in the penthouse of The Standard East- a hotel in the Lower East Side where people go to paw luxury. Despite its name, hotels like this are not for the meat and potatoes traveler. The Standard is designed for people who are courting intrigue and privilege- they are steeped in a kind of fantasy equilibrium where it’s possible for everyone to find their name on the same VIP list.
In that kind of place you can’t help look like someone’s glamorous pet or else your own glamorous villain. This is a fitting location for a conversation about ‘The Art World.’ To make sense of your surroundings you have to either strike a pose of casual indiscretion or plotting evil. Everyone’s incredulous, talented, fortunate. Really it doesn’t matter who you are, it’s something about the lighting, the architecture, the way that New York sprawls out before that glass house, gridded streets splayed, lights beckoning both distinguished and pornographic. A chorus strikes up, some gospel from the temple of pleasure, and you may ask yourself: How did I get here?
Creative Time is an arts organization that turns artist’s ideas into public programs, exhibitions, spectacles. They work on the projects from conception to graduation. Any virile arts org can be a baby momma or baby daddy but it takes a real arts org to be a mother and father. They bring an air of responsibility to the wild nights in Babylon.
For me Creative Time is best explained in the abstract. The way I understand it is by watching this live concert video of the Talking Heads performing “Once in a Lifetime.”
This connection is not a completely random leap of imagination. Creative Time helped bring the Talking Heads former front man David Byrne’s project ‘Playing the Building’ to the Battery Maritime back in 2008. For that project Byrne installed a piano in the center of a large abandoned industrial space with keys connected to different parts of the building. Anyone who sat could orchestrate the sonic throngs of the space itself.
In the “Once in a Lifetime” concert video it is 1984 and Byrne is half singing and half talking the lyrics of his band’s most recognizable hit. Some other unaccountable percent of his humanity is detached and dancing, communing with the ecstatic movements and gestures of eclectic and instantaneous spirituality. It is a religion without a doctrine, conceived on stage in the performance itself and made meaningful by sharing it with an audience. He’s a puppet and a preacher. Both a pet and a devious mastermind. The creative experience flows through him and also he acts as the creator of that experience.
When I think about what Creative Time actually does, it exists in this same realm of the David Byrnesian geek rock spiritual out of body paradoxical pet and preacher experience. Finding the overlap between intellect and intuition- creating the environment for this great communion to thrive.
Well now I’m deep in this metaphor and it’s asking a lot of you, gentle tumblrer, to consider the impact of a late 70’s New Wave band with the contributions of a 40 year old public arts organization.
But I’ve got a lot of faith in the 89,000 of you who have decided to follow this particular feed. Maybe you came mostly for the tasty reblogs and sweet pics of my goddamn face- but as the new year rolls in I’ve decided to up the level of quasi-writerly writing here at Reasonably Articulate Detritus.
I vow to share a broader range of the things I’m working on, involved with, and also thoughts on those who inspire me in this life- both IRL and URL. I think I can wow you with my aggressive mix of dumb and clever. I think I can overwhelm you with my harrowing juxtaposition of optimism and soul crushing loneliness. Consider this a warning. This is not my beautiful house.
Here are some things Creative Time has done in the real world (IRL!) that are great and make me wince with inspiration:
Creative Time is about the maturity of fanciful and vital ideas finding their form in the public space. It’s an organization that turns artistic flings into lasting relationships.
I’m proud to be a part of it and I hope that you’ll check it out .
If you already know about it and want to be involved or support their projects- this link is a great place to start.
MY GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE?