Friday, January 15, 2016

Sketchbook: Waiting Rooms + "Physical Therapy" + "Sad & Empty"

That feeling that no matter how fast you go, you just can't catch up

It's a funny thing, having a sketchbook out in a public place. Waiting rooms are dead zones where people are washed up or otherwise becalmed, by definition someplace that we are in-between events or activities, a sort of Schrödinger purgatory. Reminds me of all the lost hours spent daydreaming in classrooms - and that is where it all started for me, and still to this day remains one of the the single greatest sources of inspiration... boredom.

Now that unto itself isn't the entire picture, more of a causative agent that triggers the creative process (ie the first flip in a Jacob's Ladder). I simply can't relate to a common complaint of "I'm sooo bored" when there's an entire world waiting, inner + outer, for us to draw upon in the literal and figurative sense.

You want to try a quiet act of insurrection sometime, turn off the omnipresent television in any waiting room. Even if everybody else is simultaneously glued to their own respective personal hand-held device, that background white noise serves a purpose in effectively walling everyone off from others and where they're at. I suppose I'm no better since I take advantage of any opportunity to crack open a sketchbook, but arguably at least I'm staying connected to some degree.

I'll reflexively walk out of any establishment that is regurgitating the vile effluent known as Faux News, but these days almost any station is just as bad - the divisive content of the news stories (pick any issue) alone will cause subtle tension among a group of strangers. Add to the mix an objective perspective that comes from many, many years of not watching television programs, and the experience becomes somewhat surreal, which perversely commands attention like an ongoing accident scene. It's almost impossible to explain unless you've been long removed from the communal ritual of passively absorbing the constant flow of media: the talking heads with forced expressions and patently false, contrived personalities, the never-ending advertising of things that define us as a superficial society of mindless consumers, the voyeuristic culture of celebrity worship + disaster fetishism. All these things cascade in furiously flickering frame-rates across the screen so fast that nothing really ever registers and we remember nothing except a lingering emptiness, an impression that we are somehow incomplete without the latest ______, that we are comparatively less than, unimportant and inconsequential.

via Goodwill Librarian

Full of sound + fury, loud and fast, even a half-hour of exposure to the boob-tube (and at times even the web) can leave you spiritually and aesthetically exhausted. Print media, in the form of the ubiquitous stacks of glossy magazines cluttering up the end tables, probably aren't much better, but again, they can be rich sources of ideas, and an indispensable short-cut into what's important to other people, or at the very least the psyche of unbridled consumerism.

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