March 3rd, 2021



It was an interesting day. I was contemplating Plutchik's wheel of emotion (my thoughts here: trying to ascertain what I was experiencing in order to gain control over it. I settled on betrayal; odd to be sure, but hear me out.

Logically, it makes sense that individual interpretations of art, like many things, fall upon a spectrum - which feelings we have invoked are highly personalized and dependent upon a great many interlocking subjective experiences. Emotionally however, I personally was aghast at someone's evoked interpretation of something I had created - hence the (perhaps misplaced - but again, unconscious) feeling of betrayal.

This is good of course, because once identified, it becomes more tangible, and therefore malleable - something with which I could work rather than remaining frustrated longer than necessary, or perhaps worse, dismissing it completely without reconciliation, as this can lead to being plagued by it again - perhaps under less than ideal circumstances.

I mean, I understand its easy to shake your fist at an uncaring universe gritting your teeth through hot tears of frustration screaming, "Why me," but surely given enough time and introspection, the knowledge alone of why it is indeed you and arming yourself with the tools necessary for a more healthy coping mechanism makes for a much happier, more fulfilling life. Then again perhaps that's just me.

At any rate, I decided art - any art - absolutely requires context. Unless the goal of the piece is to have it speak for itself, in which case the artist must hold the viewers interpretation blameless. Usually easier said than done. Many profess to not care what others think of them, but anecdotally I've discovered that's only true when it falls into a very narrow subset of societal norms.

To alleviate my own hurt feelings, I chose to be responsible for accurately framing my work to aid in interpretation. This would best be done, I thought, via magazine covers! I would go back, and fabricate a magazine cover with each of my images to craft an appropriate contextual starting point. I know what you're thinking, "My God, that's brilliant!" I know, right? If only I were as competent at graphics arts as I was with formulating solutions, because I'm really bad at mocking-up magazine covers, and am not going to do this after all.
Thankfully the amount of energy spent between coming up with the solution, then trying in vain to achieve it has exhausted me and I really just don't care anymore. Thanks for coming to my TEDx TALK.