February 9, 2002   

Art of Pointlessness

I encourage people to pointlessly enjoy pointless things in life. Create pointless things pointlessly. As I said before, that is the difference between Fine Art and Commercial Art. The latter has a clear purpose, though ultimately its purpose has no purpose, (or somewhere down the chain, the purpose will be non-existent; you get my point.). The former has no purpose from the outset. Most commercial artists would not know what to do if there were no clients. They themselves have nothing to say, it’s just that they are good at saying something for someone else. You know, most classically trained musicians can’t write music or even improvise. I mean even some of the top performers in the world, that is. It feels good to fulfill a purpose even if it’s someone else’s. In fact, you don’t even care if that someone else actually has a purpose or not, as long as he/she has the facade of being purposeful. Purposefulness is a commodity in this world. People love to flock around those who ooze purpose.

I like modern philosophy. It’s more artistic since it has to start out from the understanding that it’s ultimately pointless. I think this is why Postmodern philosophy was a big influence on Postmodern Art. I believe that when you succumb to pointlessness, whatever you do becomes artistic. The great artists in history didn’t need Existentialists to tell them that. The most naive, and therefore boring, form of art, for me, is one that tries to actually change the world. The second most boring form of art is one that is cynical about the pointlessness, the smart-ass kind that kindly lets you know, before you can say anything about it, that it is aware of its own silliness. The best, and the most interesting form of art, for me, is one that sincerely takes pleasure in being pointless.

In today’s world, what could one write as a philosopher when we know so well that it is utterly pointless? I don’t mean to say that one should be more like Sartre. He cheated. He resorted to writing fictional stories, and that is nothing new and special. We don’t need a philosopher to tell us how to write fiction. I like philosophers who take the form of philosophy to the realm of art. This is why I love Wittgenstein so much. His writings to me are like Haiku; simple, yet profound observations about nothing. He never goes on and on like I do. He is very precise and concise about his pointlessness. That’s art.