As an artist I’ve found that no matter what I try to do there’s no escaping entropy. Now before I can say much more about entropy it’s important for me to frame it in a conceptual level. Entropy is the second law of thermal dynamics, that’s important with regard to keeping energy going… When one increases entropy, or reduces energy to something, say letting a log burn down in a fire and not adding another, and the fire goes out, that’s entropy. So the artist, especially where inspiration is concerned wants to decrease entropy. When the creative fire starts to dim you want to throw logs on there to keep it going and add fuel, this hastens entropy from occurring, but therein lies the challenge: Entropy never stops.
So for us, as artists, it’s a day-to-day, minute-to-minute battle to keep things going. Entropy is the difference between a one-hit-wonder and Frank Sinatra… The one-hit wonder had a flash, a lucky moment in time, whereas Frank Sinatra had those moments, ten-fold, and also continued to work, plant seeds in the form of relationship, recordings and generally creating a place for himself in the history books. This sustained energy is the difference.
I don’t deal well with entropy. I fight it. I’m constantly working, in spite of my knowing better, to deter it, slow it, fight it, and sometimes giving into it right before I start the whole process again, but really where do we belong where entropy is concerned?
The thing with entropy and life, too, is that when you’re doing a given thing whether it’s making art or making a hamburger, that’s where your energy is directed… entropy decreases naturally, but when the creative urge is over or you’ve consumed the hamburger, entropy increases and the longer I live, the more sure I am that chasing after entropy and trying to slow it or stop it will never happen… Nothing and nobody beats entropy. We can however find peace and beauty in the dissipation and degradation of things and spend our time appreciating the beauty of what is, what was and aware of its, our, decline; welcoming it rather than fighting it.
Western civilization’s idea of art is all about product and output, and who am I to argue with centuries of tradition, but eastern civilization seemed to understand early on that art is about the process. Maybe they understood entropy and rather than developing scores of art restoration practices they let things just fade… In my mind, both have their benefits, but for the artist they’ll never lose the experience creating the art, where the creation and its creator will slowly fade into oblivion.