This is what the next Artlarking event theme conjures up in my mind. These are my thoughts, not the official statement for the show.
Neon – Greek: νέον (neon) meaning “New One”
- Neon is actually abundant on a universal scale; it is the fifth most abundant chemical element in the universe by mass, after hydrogen, helium, oxygen, and carbon. But it is rare on Earth. A balloon filled with neon will rise in air, albeit more slowly than a helium balloon.
In our last brainstorming session, Alison told the Artlarking Creative Directors that Neon is the tenth element in the periodic table. The same day, I was talking about the Hindenburg with some friends over a beer in Dolores Park. It was filled with Hydrogen and burst into flames. The Hindenburg, not my beer. I concluded Neon Glass Zeppelins would be safer, more visually pleasing, and a great cover band name.
Neon represents what?
The Neon concept goes beyond the chemical element. Neon colors, which are actually florescent colors, have extraordinary glowing properties. They evoke brightness, newness, and expanded powers of perception. Modern living amplified by technology and visible radiation.
Neon is Nature. It’s the elemental energy behind the lines drawn by our muddy perception of the everyday world. Neon, or newness, lies in each moment. In each static object, waiting to erupt and flow. Our job as creators is to facilitate a usable, storable, and transferable medium for this process. The New Currency.
Neon Nature is the New Currency.
Your creative energy is the New Currency. You are the New Currency. But only if you express yourself, document it, and release the creative record to the world.
How do we evoke this new energy?
Any piece of Nature taken out of its known context and put into another is vitalized. Crack the stone to find the hidden crystal. Split the atom to reveal the primordial power hidden in matter.
After the creative change, elements previously unknown to each other are forced to collaborate. The process is disruptive but also spurs evolution.
Neon Nature demands it: Unity, disruption, collaboration, and recombination of disparate elements. Then a new unity that allows the process take place again. Not moving backwards or disassembling. But moving forward with a creative memory embedded in all future movements, in all future cultures, no matter how abstracted from the source material (our Natural Resources).
What’s the point?
The Neon needs Nature like a baby needs a mother to hold it. The Nature needs Neon to enliven it, change it, and allow it to evolve. The New Currency is our record of creative accomplishment. We store it, use it, exchange it. And we recognize that Natural Resources in addition to the Human Spirit are the source of all we can really have.
Whatever we create with the New Currency springs from past accomplishments, promises to validate them; but also to exceed them. Greater and more satisfying creative leaps are sure to come as a result.
Images provided by Hailey Gaiser. Check out her work in person at Neon Nature and The New Currency, June 4th at the Box Factory. Part of Mission Art and Performance Project (MAPP). Flier and address above.