Even the greatest artists can never claim one hundred percent of his creations. Always, if it is great art and not just the visions of one person, our greatest art is a collective endeavor. In effect, the product of a particular media ecology or communication system. To believe an artist works created just by a personal psychology rather than a collective consciousness is to believe in a type of egomaniac or narcissist who has little idea (instead of some belief) that any world might exist outside the first person narrator of I as the total author of my creations.
A number of years ago, Randall Collins argued in The Sociology of Philosophies (Harvard University Press, 2000) that there has been a sociology of philosophy. Here, one might put forward the idea that there could be a sociology (or ecology) of artists. In effect, a type of input system of ideas into those who put the ideas together to create works of art in our time. Music. Photography. Literature. Film. YouTube Videos. Streamers. TikTok warriors. What is behind the ideas the greatest artists in these areas recieve from the media. But more importantly, perhaps, their true inner circle of friends who pass things onto them.
It might sound somewhat strange, but the most creative people today are those who are most creative at assembling the information coming in from their network of information sources. There might be AI directed software to help target in on prime target markets. Yet, for the most part, much of this involves a type of psychology, sociology and history of one’s friends and best friendships over time.
For an artist, these friends come and go. Like they have over my lifetime. To dwell on them is to come under their spell of guilt about your life. In effect, your dwelling on these old memories gives them the power of a vampire that suck lifespan’s out of the artist/ creator in life. They pull artists back into the past – like they pulled back the life of Marilyn Monroe – preventing the artist (Monroe) from moving forward, into a new future for themselves. (See the post on a brilliant podcast dramatic series about the life of Marilyn Monroe by one of the greatest radio podcasts we’ve ever heard. Demonstrating how much she continued to be pulled into her past).
Making the artist/creator dwell on the past instead of moving into the future. Where artists should be hanging out. (But admittedly, not necessarily a settled question these days).
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In effect, there is a type of dynamics, to a relationship with a friend that might inform the ideas of an artist. In having a good friend to his creative self over these years, A special friendship in a class by its own.
I first met my good friend Mike over my biography of John Coltrane titled Spirit Catcher. At the time, his literary agency in San Francisco was the oldest and best known literary agency in the city. Mike liked my book and we planned get together for lunch. Thus began an at least twenty year friendship. With a great supporter of my writing. Yet, more than than, a great contributor to my writing. Mike is constantly sending me ideas any type of media. The above is a recent example of what Mike has sent me.
When it comes to world peace, I would say that I’m more of a skeptic than Mike. But it’s always good to get the viewpoint of Mike in all of this. His viewpoint of establishing harmony in the world is very much on display in the above video. From Mike’s network of contacts from his years as a literary agent, he receives ideas and information and then filters all of this on to me and a few friends. All of this is best said here, not by Mike, but by a video Mike links to in the powerful video at the top.
An image of incredible cooperation in the above video. Something that could never be done without intense cooperation amongst all involved. Here, five incredible musicians.
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This is perhaps a real path forward for artists today. To not spread – or one-way broadcast their influence to the world – as much as to open themselves as a particular ecology of participation in the creation of something new. A new type of substance one might term a digital soil. The best of it like the great soils of Napa and Sonoma Counties. A particular mixture of digital parts might already have arrived yet note assembled by anyone.
So much appreciate to that one who always “shows me things” I haven’t seen before. Such a wide mixture of sources. Now, YouTube via the above.
To the digital information attacks from my great friend in San Francisco, Mike.
And, to my digital information attacks to Mike.
Great communication back-and-forth. And of course our driving around the Haigh Ashbury district in San Francisco in my rental car, a high-powered Mustang convertible. We cruised around Golden Gate Park first. It was another one of those special days in San Francisco when everyone knows why they continue to live in this difficult place. A place of the highest rents and property values in the nation.
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For years, Mike has maintained a flat on Jones Street just below the top of Nob Hill in San Francisco. I think the the street incline in front of Mike’s flat is the sixth highest incline in San Francisco.
I have always been so happy when I picked him up from his Jones flat, for our night of jazz in North Beach or something like that. One of the few that really understand my writing and where I’m coming from.
And, continue to send videos like the above to me.
Always, keeping me honest. As someone living in the midwest in these times.
My friend in San Francisco sending out so many helpful messages and links that are read and thanked Mike on.
So much of Mike’s spirit always appears at disjointed times like today.
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Mike attaches himself to the powerful symbolism of cooperation and community in the world. A definite view of the Feminine Archetype and its dominance in the world.
Against the grand symbol of Equality stands that other founding symbol of America in Freedom. The community versus the individual.Sociology versus psychology. Always the great battle in America more than any other nation in the history of the world.
This battle between self and the group. America was to be the experiment in history where two great symbols – of masculine and feminine archetypes – the conservative and progressives today. Both, standing in opposition to each other today. It seems to me. more than any other time since I started reporting this kind of information. Of course, the modern world playing out so much like a form of symbolism’s power as a type of growing prophet. A type of unseen ecological force. Something that surround. The sense of hearing. The sense that McLuhan made so much sense with.
Bottom line. The posting of a long time friend of mine towards a new hope in cooperation in life. Perhaps one of the greatest videos I’ve ever seen promoting the power (and art) of cooperation to create a work of art.
Mike’s message of community in our divisive world.
To one that has shown me things and places.
Thank you and love you Mike.