Do artists change how we look at life?

Eugene Peterson, spiritual thinker and writer, gives one interesting example of how an artist changed what he saw, in one part of his life.


Television vs Homemade vs Fine Art

This short clip made me wonder about his comment that artists help us see afresh by us actively seeking them, whereas television presents and introduces beauty to us.  Also, that a person’s homemade song has a different beauty to the professionally produced CD.

“If we let other people select what we’re doing, like if you use television as a way to get out of yourself or escape the ordinary, that doesn’t help because you’re letting someone else introduce the stuff into you.  An artist doesn’t do that: you’ve got to find them.”

Are we more of a passive viewer with TV?  Whereas if we go to galleries and find an artist, we are freer to find our own favourite picture, engage with the story of the artist and their art as much (or little) as we choose.  I suppose partly it depends how we consume television?  I am unwilling to view anything on television unless it is specifically interesting completely to me, and usually it is something I have sought out.  A particular joy has been the film documentaries I have found on TV on 1960s America and its songwriters and writers responding to that – see blog posts on Nina Simone the film, the TV programme and James Baldwin.  But these viewings have then been the springboard, the starting point, for actively going and finding out more about their work and story – even just to make a good resulting blog post.

What do you think?  Is television a passive art for the viewer?  Or is it like an introduction which gives us new musicians, actors and writers and fine artists to seek out?




  1. They’re all visual stimuli. The TV is merely a window to the outside world. Its a multi choice device which provides one with options to view. You choose what you see on TV, especially this cable TV time.

    Art is also in many forms. The conventional art, and the trending art; electronic art, which brings art to TV.

    Its true that the TV is virtual hence no feedback while exploring real-time art in galleries often involve human interactions & immediate clarifications to the queries from our curiosity.
    Its also healthy to seek out art in its many forms rather than sit back and feed the eyes with motion pictures while the heart gasp for breath.
    Artists also go beyond the ordinary. They take the mind on journeys beyond the ordinary, into the artists imaginations, mental creations and manipulations. A form of exercise for the mind and when need be, the genesis of resistance.

    As to the question, artists definitely do change how we look at life, often subconsciously because art could be without sound but it ain’t speechless. It could be without motion but it ain’t motionless. It always has a way of reaching out to those who care to see and listen

    Nice read

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