On October 12, the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley and the Curatorial Practice at the California College of the Arts are partnering to host a live-streaming of the Creative Time Summit, an annual conference in New York that brings together cultural producers–including artists, critics, writers, and curators–to discuss how their work engages pressing issues affecting our world. To jump-start the conversation in advance of the event, attendees have been asked to submit a paragraph on a keyword associated with one of the summit themes: Inequities, Occupations, Making, or Tactics. This posting is by Ryan Davis, American Cyberculture student at UC Berkeley.
Keyword: Tactics




“A plan, procedure, or expedient for promoting a desired end or result.” –
I find it to be a strange concept. I, an individual who desires to be an artist of some sort, someone who can both take from and give back to the community in visuals, am lost in its definition. For many artists whose work has personally touched me, I feel as though their tactic is to glean from the troubles of society and produce an answer, create a spotlight and shine it on what very badly needs improvement. As far as I’ve experienced, this is done through intuitiveness, feelings, and faith in the heart and soul. Painters to sculptors, performance artists to shock artists, there is surreal amounts of emotion involved in their processes. That is their tactic to making art: the showcasing of anger, happiness, and every emotion in-between. I am fascinated by this because I truly feel I lack it. When I create pieces of personal art, I must plan out my works in such a precise manner that I feel my piece has become devoid of emotion. I just want it to be executed as how I view it in my mind; I want to come as close to that perfect vision as possible. My work suffers from this problem to the point if seeing all of the flaws I have made, and I became artistically paralyzed. It’s turning into something painful: I do not create and produce pieces of artwork as much as I use to. My ideas become so bottled up within me that they may never escape and become realized, may never become as beautiful as I want them to be, and may never provoke someone to think. I no longer listen to my heart and soul, but rather the perfection of the process. And in this, I no longer feel I am creating art, but rather just something nice for viewers to gaze at. It doesn’t make them think critically about the possible message my piece may contain because my emotions in it are lacking; like me, they feel nothing from it.
As an intended major of both the Art Practice and Computer Science divisions here at the University of California at Berkeley, I can see how the arts may intermix with other academic disciplines; how other studies may become an artistic medium themselves; how they affect the very lives of the people they surround. Now that I am more aware of how my majors and my interest in executing my ideas affect how I may create my art, I highly believe being exposed to an extremely innovative and ingenious space will open myself up more to the emotional aspects of the creative process. I truly think the Creative Time Summit will help free myself from becoming restrained down by the process and expand artistically. I truly cannot wait to see what will happen in a space like this and how it will change me.