Sometimes I have felt like an outsider.
"Can I hang with gangsters in Hollywood? What about hip-hop? Can I hang with Eco-poets? Will a gallery put up my painting?"
This didn’t help build community. It only moved me further away from unification with others and myself. It was only after I realized community had illusory borders that I was able to move freely within artistic communities.
“I can do whatever pleases me. It doesn’t have to be a certain kind of poetry, visual art, or musicianship. It is simply doing what holds excitement and interest for me.”
The same is done by others. Some are attracted to language poetry. Others are into graphic novels, Cubism, conceptual art, you name it. There is no real separation. We are each trying different things that excite us. We each have our intentions. And we all have our unique tastes for what we will hang, listen, view, or read in our private time.
If we open our lens’s aperture to a global view of artistry and poetics, our previous conception of our local community will shift. We will no longer look at a network in terms of an “outsider” or “insider” reality; “language” or “formal” aesthetic; or even Britney versus Beethoven disparities. These perspectives hold no weight in the magnitude of an infinite viewfinder .
This is how I approach each action in my life. It helps me see I am not alone. It helps me recognize the interconnectedness of all things. It helps me see how my community begins with my perception of it, and how my perception of my community begins with me.
K. Silem Mohammad is discussing community at Limetree. Visit him there to see how this conversation began.