(Salman) Rushdie on the social responsibilities of the artist: S/he has none. To answer to society's demands is to concede that your art can be owned, and nobody owns art. It is the unique vision of the individual artist, and the point about being an artist is that nobody owns you. Art wants to rebel, and to be irreverent. Art opens the universe up, drives all the way to the very edges of our cultural frontiers, and it pushes the boundaries outward, in order to expand the sum total of all we think and feel and comprehend. Art broadens the frames of reference in which we live and operate. It cannot do these things while abiding by societally defined sets of rules, restrictions, and expectations, that is, while consenting to these impositions. --from Barbara Jane
To which DH responded: Ah, that’s wonderful. Remember when, no matter the weather, we’d just get in the truck and drive? Pick a direction and go see what was there or see what had changed since our list foray that way?
It sounds to me as if Rushdie is describing the same impetus and the same…conciousness without external restrictions.
Wil Wheaton expressed something similar recently.
To borrow a phrase from Joel Hodgeson, the creator of MST3K: don't ask yourself, "Will anyone get this?" Instead, tell yourself, "The right people will get this."
Which is also to acknowledge that some people /won't/ get what I write, and I acknowledge that I often don't get what other's write either.
Finally, represenatation and authenticity:
"...We younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, it doesn't matter. We know we are beautiful. And ugly too. The tom-tom cries and the tom-tom laughs. If colored people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, their displeasure doesn't matter either. We build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain, free within ourselves. " – Langston Hughes