Blogging is an experiment. Each and every blog an example of individuality and endurance.
I have been rolling this question around in my head: Can the Internet be a place where one creates art? I am allowing this to be a question for now. I am not interested in answering it, nor trying to draw a territory of thought around it.
Let the question live its life, I say.
What I do want to share with you here is the idea that blogging and keeping a blog going can get in the way of a creative practice. I feel this to be true because I have experienced it. As a choreographer and writer, my work lives off of the Internet, outside of this blog space, in another time and place. My work comes first, blogging some kind of fourth or fifth priority.
Sometimes, however, when I am feeling confused and misdirected in my creative practice and I don't want to face it - when I am looking to connect and deflect the mess of not knowing - I write a blog post. And I write another. And another. I try to know things by writing them down and publishing them on the Internet, as if the Web is a source of truth. Not only do the posts arrive in some disingenuous way, but I don't really get what I'm looking for.
For what I am looking for is something not yet found that only my dances or writing know the answer to. It is a real thing. A made thing. I am looking for something that lives off the Internet.
Here is the thing with a creative practice and making art. There is the preparation, which some might say does and can happen on a blog (especially if you're a writer). Then there is a stage where things gestate. They incubate and go silent. I do other things. I do not know what is growing inside of me, just that something is percolating. When I return to the studio or the page this fertile something is there as a foundation. And as I work and work an insight occurs. Eventually, I make some more and share it, at some point.
What is crucial in all of this is the quiet, silent, incubatory stage. That's when my creature takes over and I let the animal of my imagination roam and sniff.
For me, that incubatory stage can't happen on the Internet or on a blog.
Blogging is a container for some things but certainly not all things. A place to document a creative practice, then? Maybe. I just know it will never fulfill the space in me that making a dance or writing a story does. It doesn't allow for incubation in the ways I need it to as a dance maker and writer. It is a river of media that I like to wade in and out of. There are deeper oceans to be had, to be sure.
And then there are days when I sit at my desk with a cup of tea. I don't know what I'm going to write but I know I want to blog. I have a photo that inspires me, or a drawing, or a quote. I use these materials as a starting point, all the while putting the honesty of my imagination before a preconceived idea.
Soon my blog post is revealing something to me as I write, just as my dances do. It is a certain kind of blogging. A creative blogging. An emergent blogging. As Susannah Conway says, a "blogging from the heart." The blog post becomes something that has arrived from a space of not knowing. And it is best as a blog post. That's where the made thing is meant to be.
So what about you? To what purpose does blogging serve you as an artist?
"I usually have the thing in my head that I should be working on, and I’m taking notes for that. Then I’ll randomly have and “art idea” which seems really fun because no one is waiting for me to do that. Then one day some art show will ask me to do something and I’ll go back and look at that list of ideas. So art and performance are a lot like that; I have a lot of notes for those things, but usually a writing thing or a movie thing is on the front burner."
~~Miranda July on 20 Lessons for Creatives