Speaking So To Speak
The point of departure: without language there is no art. Art is not congruent with language. And certainly art can be made with words. This talk will be many words about words to create a view of what is beyond that which is said.
Art, any kind of art, was only possible once we had language and were wondering about the meaning of life. Art can be a sword that cuts through language. It can let us experience something beyond language, beyond right and wrong, on this side of yesterday and tomorrow.
There is a lot of talking and thinking before art is made. There is a lot of speaking after experiencing art. There is a lot of past and a lot of future outside of an artwork, which in turn shapes how the work appears and approaches us and how we approach it. A work of art can only be alive in the moment when we experience it. We use language to shape past and future. When we talk or write and reflect and ponder on art, we are outside of the experience. Which is just fine—but different.
Johannes Goebel has been chasing the moment between past and future, even though it was always present. He started with words and music and then built instruments out of wood and metal and digital code. He did many things during the chase, like everyone does. Stop the chase, he was told. For the past 14 years he has been lucky and happy, having been hired to contribute to creating EMPAC at Rensselaer as a building and program.