a little riff on a sweet spot between art and commerce
Transcript of this video:
Woody Allen years ago did a comedic riff on James Joyce when he said something like, “my heart’s desire is to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race and then see if I could get it mass produced in plastic.”
It’s one of my favorite quotes and I’m sure each of you watching this will want to interpret it in your own way – and that’s assuming you get over any visceral reaction you have to Woody Allen himself.
I think I’ve always thought of it when I’ve seen some insight turned into a model or diagram and then mass-marketed.
I think we can all see that temptation on social media: chasing the clicks of mass production.
And I think reality happens somewhere in the space between these two opposites because I think he was also mocking how solemn and over-preoccupied those of us who think we might be creative can sometimes be.
And I know in the process of making these videos I get a bit “smithy of my soul” about it as I walk along thinking well I could say this and I should say that and I get stuck in a certain kind of perfectionism…
until I make myself get the camera out and do a rough stab at the camera and produce something good enough that isn’t smithy of my soul but hopefully isn’t either too mass produced in plastic.