The Artist, the Shaman and the Analyst in Mythic Space
The artist, shaman and analyst are all concerned with the evolution of space, either fighting for the redemption of the mythic space of art or unconsciously serving the powers that are against it. The modern artist uses the empty space, the shaman the sacred space and the analyst the psychic space.
A stone-age tribesman steps gingerly and gracefully over the consecrated ground of his allotted space in nature. The space in the primitive's world is sacred, and it is treated with the utmost delicacy, as if space itself, and all the natural wonders within it, are part of the great cosmic godhead, to be treated with eternal respect and holy adoration. We have come a long way from this "naive" attitude of space. We clumsily stomp over our collective space with offensive billboards, loud, electronic broadcasts, bad architecture and a legion of narcissistic personalities competing desperately for a greater expansion of selfishly procured space. In an attempt to hunt down and conquer ever wider zones of space, corporate space-lords, the heirs of feudal lords, have employed the very heirs of the very persons who once consecrated space with sacred, artistic embellishment. Thus, musicians, filmmakers, visual artists and actors are deployed as soft warriors in the vicious hunt for a greater share of institutionally owned space.
In our radical shift in space consciousness, with our marauding practice of space consumption, we have desecrated ever greater chunks of what was originally pristine and holy. It speaks profoundly of our technocratic, predatory religion destroying the old, natural, participatory faith, with the resultant environmental destruction serving as a shocking reminder of the tragic victory over sacred space.
Our entire history of consciousness, once we 'evolved' beyond the benevolence of shared, consecrated space, is a narrative of one tribe coveting the space of another, forcing the victims of stolen space to seek out newer space, or become the slaves or serfs of the new lords of conscripted space. Now that there is little space left to plunder, we pollute outer space with billion-dollar probes, while neglecting the planetary space in our own biospace. The idea is to expand ever outward, to conquer, enslave, control and exploit, even if we jeopardize our own precious space in the process. Once the institutionalized space-priests and space-lords conquer enough exterior territory to build up their prestige, they have the power to begin the power for inner space. Again, using the power of art, they seek to gain control over the inner space of the mind. Once they have won a sufficient number of commercial believers to the faith, they convince the flock that they can have paradisal space within their own living space, if they will only buy the products and services of the consumptive religion. Once the priests gain control over the inner space of our minds, they have achieved complete hegemony.
If the campaign to win inner space is not successful enough through advertising, there is an ever-ready supply of fictional space on tap in the shape of insubstantial novels, bad, mainstream movies and the intrusive television medium. So, we trade our once participatory relation with sacred, real space for a post modern, fraudulent rendition of it. As long as we are given a staple amount of fictional space, we can continue to believe that the space in which we dwell is secure.
In the meantime, we don't realize we are driving down the road in the film 'Brazil', where there are nothing but continuous walls of billboards, advertising bright, cheery, fictional pictures of green beautiful, yet fraudulent landscapes. Behind the billboards, however, hidden from the view of the drivers, is a barren desert, allowed to be raped and pillaged by an entertained public, robbed of their once sacred and sustained space, because they were first robbed of their ability to think, by the deceptive weapon of institutionalized bad taste.