The number of times I have conceptualized, explained, written, re-conceptualized and re-written, and tried to explore the ideas contained in this, for lack of a better word, essay which stand at the very heart of how I view what I do as an artist has begun to reach staggering proportions. At one time it was a few garbled ideas floating in my head, then those same garbled ideas jotted in a journal entry, then formally written out, various states of my own understanding of what I was getting at created various drafts, then it was a blog entry, then part of a press kit as a formal kind of released thing, and now it’s come somewhat full circle to just being a bunch of garbled ideas that I’m trying to put back together.
Why do I differentiate this “Mobius Theory” from The Mobius Project proper? Well, to be honest, at first just because I thought that seemed like a cool idea. It allowed me to have this band thing, the music part, but to claim territory across a vast swath of art-dom. It was sort of a humble man’s attempt at an egotistical act. But lately I have realized that, although the idea for the band came first, this “theory”, as I have rather self-importantly called it, actually came first. It just did so within the framework of my worldview. As an art student you’re taught to be a little arrogant. Sure, they want to frame it as confidence in your skills, but it goes beyond that. You see everywhere that to be a successful artist you have to have a vision that you’re presenting to the world in order to make your art relevant. So they encourage you to believe that your vision, whatever it may be, is important and should be known.
I struggled with this idea above all others.
But what I did notice was that even those who had supposedly had some grand vision were cribbing to varying degrees from their influences, which was also encouraged. And this was what drove me. I recognized that it wasn’t my personal vision that made my artwork worthwhile, but where it fit in the scheme of art history. And that is the seeds from which The Mobius Project developed.
And it really is an art project in the most literal sense of the word. There isn’t really anything too earth-shatteringly new in the basic idea, but for me it helps to put this purpose into words. It helps me focus. Essentially it boils down to just what I noticed in school, that creative ventures in the modern era borrow from their predecessors. This is a process that has sped up and increased exponentially in recent times due in large part to the role the Internet has begun to play in the artistic community. “There’s nothing new under the Sun,” if you will. It’s not that there are no true innovators today, or that there are any fewer creative people, or that those people are any less creative now than in the past. Quite the opposite, in fact. And this is at least partially due to modern circumstances. It’s the glut, to be frank. There is a huge amount of creative energy in the universe right now in the form of creative expression material: music, art, writing, and any other creative venture that has a final form. And all the final forms out there have created a massive blob of material that simply exists in the world today. It links us to the creativity of one another in a way never before seen. We are feeding off of the ideas behind those works in an inescapable way because of the access we have to the form the works take. I’ll admit that I’m cribbing just a bit of the differentiation between artistic idea and final form from Sol Lewitt, but this premise is what brought us together as artists. We believe it is impossible to exist as a creative entity in the world today without running into (or through) this material.
So, accepting the idea that Art (with a capital “A” meaning all creative ventures and material) builds on the heritage of all creativity, we can look at all Art as a continuum with branches. It’s essentially how other academic fields, such as the sciences and various branches of mathematics, look at themselves. And even the individual artistic disciplines look at themselves this way. Within the visual arts there’s a tree of art history that branches from cave art out until you have the different innovations of art history (Pop art, surrealism, etc…). Music history looks at itself the same way, branching into the various genres, but tying themselves together at the roots. I believe you can look at all Art in a similar way and see the branches crossing. Visual arts are inspired by music. Performance arts inspired by visual arts and set to music. The inspirational connections, both purposeful and unconscious, are endless.
Because of this we believe it’s vital for artists and creatives across the board to admit their place in this never-ending continuum, and pay homage or at least intellectual recognition to those that came before, and give respect to those that will come after. If this essential premise is taken to heart by the creative communities, then I believe Art can and will change the world by changing people, both one at a time, and en masse. It will change their minds and hearts. It will change their perspectives. It will gain the power to make sweeping changes in the way we approach our relationships both large and small, both locally and globally, perhaps even cosmically.
And each artist must decide for themselves what form their productions in the continuum will take. For me, that’s The Mobius Project
What is the Mobius Project? I’m a visual artist, a writer, and a musician…but all in self-practice of course. “But,” you ask,”Isn’t that just fancy short hand for saying you’re no good at it? Isn’t it really just a ‘hobby’ that you can’t admit as such?” To that I only answer that the only qualification one must have to be one of the above is the desire, and the follow through. If you believe yourself to be an artist (creative-type), and you practice this idea, then you are. This is also irregardless of your skill-level. Your ability to draw a molding piece of fruit as close to real life as possible is in no way a membership card to the rank and file of the art world, despite what any snob with a $4 million Pollock hanging in their hallway would tell you, any more than being able to quote Shakespeare makes you a writer. So The Mobius Project is how I both inspire and follow through on this idea, the goal essentially being to bring creative expression into my every day life.