Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Artists and creativity

Last week, Mick Silva posted a provocative essay about being original. Now he's done a follow-up. And Suz has posted a response at The Master's Artist. There's a lot of food for thought here, whether you agree with Mick or not. It seems to me he gets to the heart of what it means to be creative for God. And, actually, it seems to me that Suz says much the same thing, only in a different way. Who we are and what we do comes from God.

In a similar vein, Infuze has posted an interview with a man named Erik Lokkesmoe, who (to quote the Infuze intro): "[is the] founder of Brewing Culture, a non-profit organization that is leading the front lines of bridging the cultural gap between the church and culture." This is a must-read for anyone interested in art and culture.

One of the things Lokkesmoe talks about in the interview is how art can be descriptive -- can show the condition of the world even while showing the hope we have, too. But one of the problems with much of Christian culture is that we have a hard time doing that honestly. And when an artist does show the world honestly, we feel compelled to warn people to proceed with caution. Christian Music Today gives 4-star review to new albums by Bruce Cockburn and The Lost Dogs, but throws in caveats about the language these artists use in some of their songs. I suppose the reviewers feel responsible for making sure that someone easily offended should know up front that there might be some gritty-ness in these albums, but I wonder what would be so bad about someone unsuspectingly listening to Cockburn or The Lost Dogs and discovering some truth about the world and how we are to live in it. Should we always steer people away from challenging art because we're afraid they'll be offended? Just a thought.

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