Some of the best art going on these days is in people's shuffle-song function on their iPods, and in their computer screensaver that sifts through photo collections.
"Art": event-making in time and space, coordinations and sequences of image, sound, action, vibration. These random sequences are fresh - taking everything into account, appropriate for the moment - but they make connections that stretch or toss finely-wrought lines across our collection of memory and meaning with the aplomb of a master.
What do I mean by "best?" - harder to delineate than art. Re-definitions of best, and good and better, would be good.
Really, better should just be buried. Good and best are what are necessary for the moment.
And when we watch good art, we are making it good by our complicity, our participation in it. We are invitees to a party, this event of art. We put effort in, we give energy that helps the party be good - if we want to be good guests.
I want to unhook myself from the assumption that art is supposed to entertain me - though if very well might, by the wayside - and re-understand that it is simply there to do something to me, if I will let it. Oh yes, I put up all sorts of blockades, all the time, to make sure that art does nothing to me - except make my mind-stuff, my brain wiring, twist around and around itself - by applying words like "good" "better" and "best," by filing and categorizing, even in the moment of experiencing it. I crowd out my actual, sensory experience of it. I am already having a conversation with myself, about the thing I'm supposed to be experiencing.
Getting into the habit of expecting, needing, entertainment from art - when does that happen? My brother Donald says it happens to us when we realize how painful, how hard life is - we seek outs, we want reprieves.