Randomness (r_ness) wrote,

From Pixels Don't Breathe.

From the Epicurean Dealmaker:
One fine, convenient day, close your laptop, shut down your monitor, mute your smartphone and slip it into a pocket, and go visit an art museum. Once inside, skip the bookstore, shun the gift shop, and eschew any special exhibitions of Blockbuster Anything or Super Duper Famous Artist retrospectives. Instead, find the painting galleries in the permanent collection and wander around until you find a nice piece that particularly interests you—preferably one with a bench commodiously arranged before it—and sit down. Just exactly what kind, vintage, or style of painting is entirely up to you.

The point is to experience an object in real time—in the flesh, as it were—unmediated by the lacquered page of a book or the reflections on a computer screen. An object which has been created out of canvas, and wood, and paint, and whatever else the artist chose to incorporate for the express purpose of being looked at in itself, as an object: here and now.

Given how much of my personal and professional life is conducted or mediated through the sterile arrangement and rearrangement of glowing pixels on a screen, I find an occasional such exercise to be a refreshing and even reinvigorating way to reconnect with the physical world. You could accomplish the same thing by contemplating a tangerine, or your belly button, I suppose, but I personally tend to find fine art more intrinsically interesting. Plus, there's the advantage that staring for 20 minutes at a painting in a museum will garner you fewer incredulous stares (although not none) than doing the same thing with a piece of fruit in a farmer's market.

I am sure I could draw parallels between my little exercise and others you could perform to pierce the electronic veil before your eyes and reconnect with the world-as-it-is, but I will leave that project for you to contemplate.
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