How many friends would you say are healthy? I feel quite comfortable in a crowd, safe being around others. But in my day-to-day life, I only sustain deep connection with a few people. Perhaps a small entourage of 5 people, a closer friend group of 10, but beyond that, I don't feel like I have an identity.
I don't mean to say I lack identity. I quite enjoy coding, slacklining, coffee, people-watching and immersing myself in Wikipedia articles on topics I have no understanding in. But more recently I've been observing something - if I pull myself apart from the groups I'm in, a bright side of me is gone, and habits are all that remains. When I'm in real solitude, the only thing that inviscerates is the art gallery. Ordering coffee, people-watching, these experiences are as novel as grocery shopping. Interpreting art is pure in its subjectivity, the allure of slipping out of monotony and into your own individual viewpoint.
"What do you enjoy doing most?" the interviewer asks to Salvador Dali. He responds — "Becoming every day, a little more Dali. In the beginning of my life, I was a little more Napoleon. First I wanted to be a woman cooking. Second, like becoming Napeleon. Later, now like becoming Dali. Now, is every day more Dali." How did this emerge?
In 1955 Dalí drove a Rolls Royce Phantom packed with 500 kilograms of cauliflower from his home in Spain to the Sorbonne in Paris to deliver a lecture.
Dalí told journalist Mike Wallace he chose the cauliflower because he was fond of its relationship to the Fibonacci Sequence. Dalí loved cauliflowers and other vegetables that displayed the golden mean.
Identity is a woven fabric, not a smoothly moulded metal. On it, each individual wears and bears the designs of the artifactor – on a platform, it is the feature. Where Instagram allows the artist, Facebook permits the writer. Twitter enjoys the shitstir, who fans the flame of fire. Only on our own do we own what we make. To Dali it wasn't just his paintings for painting's sake.
Dali made a name for himself.
"Not the painting, not the clowning. The painting, the clowning, the showmanship, the technique - everything is only one manner for expressing the total personality of Dali".
This was a merger of two incomplete pieces on identity. The first was a foray into the internet as the new art gallery, where you can redefine yourself in the endless stream of groups, pages, and subreddits, as participant and viewer. The second was a pose on Dali's fetishisation of his own identity: the individual, self-defined, ever-evolving, handled only by name: Dali. I encourage you to watch the original interview.
This is article #4 in my habit to create more writing.