By Spencer Myers
April 4, 2013
Hypotheses become fact through repetition. Because of this, science relies on open communication in order to progress.
An artistic statement becomes cliché through repetition. Every artist’s point of view creates a natural change in this cliché, thus evolving it. Because of this, art relies on individual minds in order to progress.
Once a picture, phrase, or video is put on the internet, it is solidified into that one form. No matter how many minor spins are put upon it, the repeated object will always have a solid, traceable history.
This digital history nearly destroys the concept of creative metamorphosis, as every new idea appears stolen. Art has always been a process of recycling; the Internet has now just made it glaringly obvious.
The musician Beck Hansen once declared that his generation’s mission is to destroy the cliché. Our generation’s goal seems to match this, but instead of being satisfied with our own personal avoidance of the cliché, we often feel the need to project this victory to all of our cohorts via the world wide web. As a result our generations goal has devolved into making every expression cliché.
We can no longer live with the delusion that the cliché is avoidable. Any good artist already has come to this realization. So the remedy does not lie in actively avoiding it as Beck suggests. We instead just admit that everything that we say has already been said before.
Realizing that our everyday expressions are repetitious is a humbling that our generation sorely needs. People need to realize how unnecessary a tweet about Lebron James jump shot is. Talk about it with the people around you and have an active conversation that may very well lead to a new idea, but please, do not solidify that single thought into a framed expression.
As for truly original ideas, express them to your closest friends, the ones you can trust to be honest with you. If the idea has potential then it will gain momentum naturally.
Cultivating an idea is just like starting a relationship. If you talk to your beloved only online or through text despite the fact that you go to school with them, then the relationship will fail. And if you ask this person out on a date through digital means, then you deserve the misfortune your cowardice brings.
Nine times out of ten, an idea will go nowhere. But maybe, just maybe, you will end up with a manifesto and an opportunity to get talked down to on a major news network.