It seems to me that every developing country has a similar story about the priorities it has for arts and humanities. A lot of people in Pakistan, for instance, disregard any career associated with art as “thoughtless” and “suicidal”. Sure, the market is a little tough. Artists aren’t exactly in great demand. Its the engineer and the doctor, the computer scientist and any other type of scientist that inspire great respect amongst the individuals in our society. If you want a shot at getting rich, don’t waste your time with art. Art is for losers. Go to a science school, graduate with flying colours and you may have your chance. There is still no guarantee, however, for you see, the market isn’t changing so much. My experience in taking courses from the School of Science and Engineering (SSE) at LUMS has been brilliant. I have dared to dream, aspire, and all that jargon the school promises. More importantly, I have felt the yearning for creativity and art to be completely side-lined, as there is always a desire to produce the next big app, product, start up and all the other ways to “truly make a mark”, as they say. This is the place that tells me, “hey, you can be rich”, and to be honest, I see all other motivations pale in front of this tantrum.
The ‘I need Feminism’ campaign at LUMS has propelled me to think about a lot of things that I feel are wrong or inappropriate in our society. No, they do not pertain to the status of women in Pakistan, or anything that has to do with what feminism stands for, but it is about the way a certain ideology is being propagated in a medium.
Is there a solid reason to believe in ‘reasoning‘?
Sure, it does help us understand the world around us, but from the very same logical channels, there are other understandings that eventually commingle to reveal a very distasteful, perplexing concoction. To agree with this, you need to agree with the fact that every discipline we demarcate today to suit today’s world’s context, has been fashioned from the annals of philosophy. The philosophy of politics, the philosophy of science, the philosophy behind reasoning and so forth; you get the point, right?
If an ‘artist’ creates a spectacle that goes unacknowledged, then is his ‘creation’ art? This begs another question: what do we mean by ‘art’?
The definition cannot be specific. The perception of expressions and creations are subjective, and so what we choose to label something as ‘art’ has an impulsive, subjective perception embodied as the central part of it’s judgement.
So lets define ‘art’ as vaguely as we can.
Art, in my opinion, is simply the expression of one’s thoughts in anyway possible. Be it words, photographs, videos, letters, stories, drawings, paintings, sport, obsession etc; all of these have an ‘artistic’ dimensions to them.
But doesn’t this make literally everything ‘art’?
I have a confession – one that isn’t so dodgy or isn’t as surprising as one would expect – but no matter, it still is a confession, which makes it exciting. I have lived for eighteen years now, and I do not know how to drive. There you go, the inflated balloon has now flown past you with such a demeanour that it doesn’t even deserve a second thought, but whatever. I modestly know how to code, I modestly know how to solve calculus problems and I can even cook the hardest things on the menu, but I have not learned the art of manoeuvring the modern vehicle.
To every confession, there is an underlining story often ignored. The story actually forms the gist of that confession; makes it exciting and gossipy as it should be. Why is it ignored, then? Simple. You don’t question about the ingredients of a Lindt chocolate that you enjoy – you merely consume it, revelling in it’s seemingly everlasting taste that can lift moods. I can safely assume that you are all smart enough to recognise the potency of this analogy, so may be I won’t draw the connection to an obvious point; not by the words at-least.
For all those who read ‘Nebulous – the science journal‘, you’d remember the article i wrote there, about ‘The dimensions of the procedure‘. It was basically a philosophical article meant to examine how the activities of science have been conducted over the years, and how it might be limiting our quest for knowledge. I received a comment on that post telling me that the article didn’t provide something solid, and I admit to that guilt that I wrote it when my thoughts were in a rudimentary stage. Therefore, now that I’ve given some thought over this, I’ll be able to muster it into a post, which hopefully, will clear you off any ambiguity regarding the stance I’m going to take.
So, what was the initial spark that led to me question some of the fundamental aspects of science? It was the advent of the final examination of my school. It’s this simple – when solving some mathematics paper, i discovered a new formula in arithmetic progression; although it doesn’t hold that ‘awe’ element, but still, the message it carried to me was obvious and amazing at the same time. Human capacity to engage in the quest for knowledge is an amazing one, and something we definitely need to focus on. It’s the art of thinking coupled with the need to attain satisfaction that has really played the pivotal role in human’s progress but the question is, are we limiting ourselves in that very quest of knowledge?
In the early stages of my school-hood, I craved for devoted companionship. The very first bond of ‘friendship’ I made years ago when I started my education was over a packet of biscuits. All I did was to share a piece and Alas, I had a new friend. That special packet of friendship biscuit was joined by a friendship Coke bottle, a friendship crisp packet and several other items. Emotions such as this helped me grow through that stage even though I do not know if they were true and sincere. And perhaps that is what carries weight and would hurt if they weren’t what I think they were.
Having taken enough of barter trade, I realised that human connection is not supposed to be dependent on a ‘material frame’. A mother doesn’t love her child because he or she carries the promise of money for her in the future – she loves her child because the concept of reproduction is strong; it carries significance because that child is her legacy – an indispensable part of her life. A friendship built on a similar structure would be so beautiful and completing. Every moment would be worth more than a carat diamond and the warmth of the morning Sun.
I finally think the cocoon is broken and my wings are fluttering. Emphatically, these wings are beating the wind with unmatched power, or at least I would like to think so. I know, my previous posts are littered with thoughts that might come across to you as banal; the same of old story coming out in a different way, or even in a similar fashion. I would like to see it as a story in continuation, picking up the pieces along they way as they slot together safely with the grand picture. And now that I finally see beyond the darkness of the inner realm of the cocoon where I was forced to subside, there is a lot more to life – all of a sudden.
Last time, when I wrote a post about exams, I couldn’t stop myself from sulking yet still tried to construct an honest effort to resurrect a feeling of hope, or perhaps a little bit of motivation, from the ashes I thought I was buried in. Now, I feel that never there were any ashes at all; more appropriately, it was the time capsule of evolution, slowly gliding towards a pre-destined path. The cocoon being the first step with a lot of humus to breed new concepts and to examine the sprouts already laid. Breeding new concepts is always exciting yet they take time to mature – so they shall grow up one day. However, the sprouts, the offsprings of a life-moulding caricature, the fruit of a mystical flavour – that is the real deal.
What I learned from ‘examining’ the sprout has laid a foundation for future concepts, for future seeds that should, or perhaps, must be sown. One hand busy with supporting whatever I had of me and another clutching the clay patch housing the sprout, I could see a mirror-like reflection of what I conceived as gloom, hope, friends, women and strangely enough, an uncertain future. No one knows what might happen tomorrow yet, why do we still make plans? An uncertain future – interesting.
And may be that’s the click – uncertainty – engulfing every other phenomenon yet being one itself; fittingly, being the mother of phenomena. An unusually, seemingly straight yet a distorted marks of an unsharp pencil, diving line of probability with the same idea encrypted on both sides – in different ways. For a person still discovering, classification is the aid necessary but for me, I noticed how the concept of probability snaked through every image I could muster of the world. It’s there, and yet not there. Or more simply, uncertain.
The very cocoon was a product of this uncertainty, wasn’t it. Ending up on a tarmac like this where a repetition of circumstances in a completely different manner is adamant, I observed the situation more closely and nothing new was revealed. And now as I peer with new eyes and breathe with my new soul, I see nothing, and perhaps I see everything.