I was watching a video clip of Lemmy from Motorhead, and he uttered a very wise line: “The best way to keep going is not stopping.” I don’t know why, but I’ve got a problem with stopping on Wednesdays. I always get a headache for some reason.
I did make it to the Viscomi lecture though, and like a silly little fan-boy I had him autograph my copy of Blake and the Idea of the Book. We talked quite a bit, about book illustration and such, and his lecture subtly shifted my perspective on art in the late eighteenth century, and the importance of the clearly gestural style of engraving in Blake’s work. To have visible brush-strokes, rather than mechanical perfection was taken as a gesture of authority. In other words, prior to 1839, being able to discern the artists hand behind the work gave it a veracity that was inevitably displaced behind the growth of realism, and the photograph. That’s a powerful twist. I hadn’t thought about that part of it before.
There was a lot more I wanted to write today, but the headache definitely interfered. I never bought into the idea that surrendering your voice was a way to commemorate an inauspicious anniversary. I think that’s a cop-out. I’ve never understood the “moment of silence” thing at all. It seems to me that the way to celebrate people is to shout, dance, and be involved— not withdraw into a corner. The best way to keep going is not stopping.