If I were to ask, “What is the purpose of art?”… What would we answer? Beauty? Catharsis? Social questioning? Expressing the human spirit? Changing the world? How about “transmission”? At its most basic, the goal of the artist is to become a medium or to use media to pass on a message. In the English language, “transmit” is synonymous with: to transfer, communicate, impart, relay, mediate, bear.
Born of an impulse, a desire to create something beyond oneself, art is a vessel to hold meaning. It has value as an act of catharsis, expression for the sake of its meaning to the individual. Even greater is its value when multiplied by an audience, a willing other to share some ineffable truth. A message completes its purpose when it’s received. As artists, as circus artists, what do we transmit to our audiences? What are they ready for, and how do we speak? In a recent NYC panel, contemporary circus was discussed in a regional and international context, and questions of purpose and intent were front and cent...
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Sarah Muehlbauer is an artist, dramaturg, choreographer, and writer. She holds an MFA in visual arts from Tyler School of Art, and produces multi-disciplinary collaborative work in the US. Info at: www.lionorfox.com, [email protected]