Saturday, February 26, 2011

To Change the World

Along with the premier of our film we were invited to be on a post-film panel to discuss: To Change the World: Art, Ecosexuality and Environmental Evangelism. Wow. Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens and  Savitri D and Reverend Billy. We were a little star-struck to be on the same program and the discussion turned out to activate challenging and profound thoughts. Questions we've been mulling over for some time. How great it was to talk things over in public with other creative folks. Mostly about, how does art function in politics? Does art have a role in fostering political action?

Essentially, we've always thought of political art as an oxymoron. Art that tries to prove a point is essentially what advertising does —images and words that try to sell. The true political act is to think for oneself. To allow an idea though to its conclusion. Everyone has ideas but allowing an idea acquiesce—in writing, painting, any of the arts—is the most powerful human force on Earth, and that's a political act.

Our work has diligently avoided polemic. Of course, we have an agenda with the plastic we find. In the beginning it was a simple act of planetary housekeeping, we like a clean beach. And now we'd like to see single-use plastic banned, it's causing havoc to us, and to many other creatures. But, first and foremost, we want to excite the pleasure principle, because we believe that while people are activated by pain as a call to action, lasting resolve is fashioned by joy and love.

We are always trying to simplify, to keep true to the "stuffness" of plastic pollution. Not to make the plastic resemble something else, but to shape it in a way that creates its own context. We hope, with the stuff we create, to elicit at first, "Wow, that's beautiful. Wow, what is that?“ Then with a move towards recognition, "Oh, I had one of those.”  Finally, with the realization, there is no away as in throw-away.

We have no use for snarky irony that can make you seem clever and the enervating cynicism that follows. Make it good to look at and people will look at it, after all, artists often forget they are in the entertainment business.

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