Erik Sanner Home Visual Other About


one of the things i agonized over, for years and years and years, was what kind of art to pursue, believing you can't do anything, so better to focus on something. directing movies, making paintings, writing novels, composing music - all were attractive, all seemed to have a big obstacle in the form of "ok, so how am i going to get to the point where that's putting food on the table?"

and there was a weight, a history of towering giants, all those heroes and dols who preceded and built those mediums and it was very hard to ask "can i add anything to that?"

anyway eventually i accepted painting as the strongest call. it took years and years, but it happened, i made a commitment of sorts. so why am i bringing this up right now if this is an old query?

two big reasons: 1) look at me now (both "right now" and "these days") and 2) the pull of other things still pops up, it's not the overwhelming daily dilemma that it once was, but it's still there.

so right now i'm blogging. and the two projects i'm working on, chess and the nakasendo - i'm not painting with either of them right now. yes conceptually i view them as paintings. and chess involved a lot of painting, by me and other people. but right now all i'm doing is finishing up the video rendering and trying to get it shown, approaching landlords of vacant storefronts and saying "hey, how about letting me show my piece here? it will look great and you'll be doing something the neighborhood may appreciate." video rendering isn't painting. nakasendo is even more different. pretty early on, became aware that i might not ever actually use paint in the project. could figure out a way to inject it if i wanted to, but seemed forced, contrived, not a natural fit. do i want to be so dogmatic that i have to paint, is that going to be one of my rules, even if the piece doesn't seem to need it? no. so, not painting and not painting, right now, the projects i'm pursuing. then we have the right now right now, blogging away, i could be drawing or painting, right? so there's a disconnect between my reality (doing new media) and how i think of what i am or want to be or wanted to be (a painter). just semantics? face the reality of "new media artist" and accept it - hey, i'm not a painter, i do use paint, but i'm a new media artist?

see, it starts leading you back to the initial dilemma. if i'm a new media artist, i can use sound, right? i could do sound work. in fact, there's an audio thing i've been wanting to do for months. i keep putting it off because i'm not sure it fits, and there are other visual projects, even painterly ones which i also want to do - but it's a candidate for post-chess post-nakasendo, this sound thing.

and then there's the physicality of chess, and the physicality of paint in general. paintings take space. you need space to make them, space to show them, space to store them. how much space does an mp3 take? what about a dvd, staying visual? all of a sudden it's a decade ago and instead of "but if i want to make movies, film is really expensive and i don't have access to the editing equipment" it's "hey, i could spend a lot more time actually developing the work further than just trying to get it shown if i made movies instead of paintings." there are some pretty powerful arguments all around - so what do i want? and who am i? and where are we all going anyway? isn't painting dead? are there going to be paintings when we're the borg?

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