There is work and then there is TheWork. Work is what you do to make money and make a living. TheWork is something personal that is important to you and may even define you. For some lucky few people work and TheWork may be one and the same. For most others I believe there is a blending of things.
Indeed the more I think about it, for those great artists who spring to mind like Picasso, Monet, Dalí etc… They spent their lives on TheWork. Art for them was their primary occupation. Well, and maybe gardening. They did not have to work somewhere else during the day is what I am trying to say. It does not have to be art of course, in science you might think of Einstein being someone who spent his life on TheWork. David Bowie would be another, sure he was involved in other forms of art like acting, but generally TheWork for him was a body of music. Not to mention political figures which I won’t. Ok, Abraham Lincoln springs to mind. When you look at a politicians career you see there are many aspects to the job, but there may be one cause or another that would be TheWork for them. We could just call this your passion, but that would upset my Venn diagram. Passion sounds kind of corny also, let’s call it TheWork. Or if you are not a very good typist, TheWrok.
A “normal” person is more likely to be working for a living, but also may have this side hustle we call TheWork. Side hustle is one way to think about it, but that implies the purpose is financial gain. Which is clearly not always the case. Ok this may be stretching “normal” but thinking beyond these high profile cases, the first person I think of who fits in this category of having a day job and on their own time working on TheWork, is Henry Darger. Darger was not creating art as a profession. But there was an artistic vision and an enormous body of work that he felt compelled to create.
Not to say TheWork wasn’t influenced by his work, or at least by what he observed in his day job. So possibly there is an argument to be made that he falls in this third category I propose which is: people who work, but there is some synergy between the work they do to earn a living and TheWork which is their artistic practice. I am not only thinking about artists, but just everyone in general. Every person has some — thing — that makes them unique, some interest that is theirs alone to keep.
TheWork may be a religious conviction or an intellectual pursuit. It may be a competitive desire to be the best at some thing or another. Often it is that creative impulse to be an artist. Whatever it is we all have it — that thing that drives us — keeps us striving toward some goal.
For many of us it is a desire to communicate. Communicate the intangible mundane things about life. To write, to paint, to perform and be heard. This is why we create art. Is there a reason for it all? A point to this thing called life? There are many religious and philosophical answers to this question. Of course Douglas Adams ultimately solved it, and I note now that the answer is also Jackie Robinson’s number. Was there a point to this? No, not really, this is a blog no one reads and I can write what I want.
I believe in chance operations. It is like a religion for me. What is consulting the oracle but a chance operation. Should I cast the yarrow stalks? It’s too complicated just look at twitter. This is what caught my attention as I scrolled through a few tweets.
I’m not sure why I even found this interesting. It was more the fact that someone was looking into this, that I found interesting. It rekindled my own interest in the sociology of the Internet. Some of the other articles on the site were more interesting to me, and I read and dug a bit more until I found the “Founders Statement” page here.
She cites another piece as contributing to the inspiration for starting this publication:
And the mention of the “Information Gap” has my mental gears spinning up. It’s got me thinking about how I’ve spent the past 10 years. The past 20 years really. Starting with an idea about creating a website called newimprovedmedia.com. To explore and connect with this new found Internet publishing technology. In the beginning I didn’t know anything. Didn’t even know how to register a domain name. But I learned, and have continued to learn and now have been working in it — what you would call the IT industry — for over 15 of those years. It’s a living but I still want to get back to that original idea. Back to TheWork. Just what it is I am still not quite sure, but it something akin to this “Rest Of World” publication.