Last night, I had a dream that resulted in me waking up with an epiphany.
I dreamt that I was out driving on some desolate interstate through a flat, rural area of no particular distinction. As I drove and surveyed the landscape, I felt this sense of apocalyptic ending. Something just wasn't right.
Maybe I was merely lonely and making it all more dramatic than it needed to be. Negative emotions can sometimes get the best of us ... even in dreams.
Anyway, I drove and I drove and then, I began to approach and pass these very tall and quite wide piles of wood scraps that were raw and jagged, yet somehow utter things of strange beauty.
They were just these big heaps of castoffs that - piece by piece - resembled nothing more than firewood, but considered in their entirety, looked like odd and somewhat profound sculptures or even imitations of something that might mean something to someone somewhere ... in this case, the middle of nowhere.
I remember looking up and saying, "Wow! Those are cool! Who made those?"
Then, I woke up. I was smiling when I woke up. But why?
I was smiling because I realized that this is truly the kind of art that we need. Yes, we need the art that we see in museums and galleries, but what I saw in my dream was something really special ... art at work in the actual world.
It was random art. Totally random art. It was something that I didn't expect to see that spoke to me. It was strange yet beautiful. Weird yet appropriate.
Out of nowhere it came in the middle of somewhere that felt like nowhere. No rhyme or reason ... minus regard of season.
I just keep thinking about my reaction upon awaking. I was smiling. It was pleasurable. It made no sense yet it felt right. It felt good. It felt complete. It felt strangely appropriate.
Here's the epiphany part ...
Do you know what we need? We need more random art. Totally random art.
We need art that's plopped in the middle of seemingly nowhere for some inexplicable reason ... or better yet, no reason at all.
And of course, many people will ask, "What? Why here?"
That doesn't matter. It doesn't matter at all. What matters most is that the art is there doing its job, whether we understand it or not.
My dream taught me that art is at its best ... its very best ... when it's just THERE. Put it anywhere. You don't have to explain it.
Aren't the sun and the moon just hanging out there, taking up prime real estate in the middle of the sky? No one has ever explained THEM. Why do we have to explain or justify totally random art?
Besides, don't you get tired of explaining art to people who already seem prejudiced against it? What's the point? No matter. Art need not be justified.
It's always fun to add to the cheerleading chorus, but no one can defend art better than art itself. Any time, any place.
Put art anywhere. Just plop it down ... RIGHT THERE. Yes, THERE.
Since you're out in the middle of seemingly nowhere, where no one seems to be doing anything, you may as well have something to behold somewhere out there.
The more random it is, the better. Totally random art may seem random, but it always has a story to tell. It doesn't matter whether it's here or there. It'll work anywhere. That's part of what makes it random.
Art will always do its best work when it's unavoidable, undeniable and inexplicably random.
It's the stuff of dreams.