Saitama City, Japan

Equalizing: Community as Antidote to Creative Vacuum

Equalizing: Community as Antidote to Creative Vacuum

Artists sometimes find themselves creating in a vacuum. Perhaps precipitated by a move to a new place, or maybe just a fact of life for new or isolated artists who haven’t found their community yet.

But there’s another sort of vacuum in which many artists exist: the self-imposed vacuum. For many reasons, artists may withdraw from the public eye and continue working partly or entirely in private. This can be to protect oneself, or to prepare something to be released at a later time, or as a byproduct of things like depression. It may have a purpose, but it also cuts artists off from their communities.

An artistic practice, in these conditions, may come close to dying of asphyxiation.

Now, in the age of COVID-19, most of us are feeling isolated, possibly more than ever before in our lives. For artists, the impact hits twice. Social isolation plus creative isolation.

But I don’t think it has to be that way. We may not meet in person in the way or to the extent that we would like, but we still have the internet. I’m the first to admit that many online communities reliably turn into toxic shitfests, but does it have to be like that?

I think not.

It seems to me that this is a time to embark on learning how to build healthier, happier, more functional online communities in the interest of climbing out of isolation, and in the interest of equalizing the vacuums we find ourselves in.

Along those lines, I am building something. It doesn’t have a name yet, but it will soon, and I will introduce it here on the blog. With some effort and a clear vision from the start, I believe we can make better communities. I want to be part of such communities, and so why not begin by creating part of the solution?

More news to follow shortly.

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David R Munson

David is a photographer, essayist, and educator based in Saitama City, Japan.

See also: About | Now | Prints | Medium | Patreon | Linkedin

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