Friday, July 17, 2015

Paul Kos

Part of my freelance work for PBS LearningMedia since last October has involved kicking the tires of its online videos to ensure that picture and sound are synced properly, the two-sentence descriptions of the videos don't contain any typos, and so on.

One video I enjoyed watching centers on conceptual artist Paul Kos, who talks about how an artist has to be "in shape" to be creative:

"An artist goes in and out of shape, and by that I mean very similar to being an athlete: When an athlete's in shape, every movement that they do comes intuitively. And in art when you're in shape, ideas are coming faster than you have time to make them. Being in shape is really being able to see accidents; accidents are much more interesting than that which we can contrive while sitting at a desk. But if you're not in shape you don't even see it happening. And when you are, there are accidents all around, probably, every day that are wonderful to take advantage of."

Later in the video we see Kos playing la p├ętanque with a few other men:

"I find [it] really interesting as a metaphor for art for the following reason: There's a little wooden ball, and that's the target. When you make a piece, if you're too conservative you're copying your older work—it's short, it's on this side of being avant-garde. If you go too far culture can't see it, perhaps it's too personal, and it's way out there—you miss it. But there's no excuse not to make one in three fairly good art pieces. The third one should be somewhere in between, and with the right finesse it'll be right on and you hit the target."

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