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?