In my experience, you always think you know what you’re doing; you always think you can explain, but you always discover, years later, that you didn’t and you couldn’t. This leads me to suspect that the principal function of human reason is to rationalize what your lizard brain demands of you. That’s my idea. Art and writing come from somewhere down around the lizard brain. It’s a much more peculiar activity than we like to think it is. The problems arise when we try to domesticate the practice, to pretend that it’s a normal human activity and that “everybody’s creative.” They’re not. Honestly, I never sit down to write anything without thinking, This is a weird thing to be doing! Why am I sitting here writing? Why am I looking at the Ellsworth Kelly on my wall? I don’t know. It feels funny to do these things, but it feels funnier not to, so I write and look. My only justification for the lizard brain thing is that, whatever I’m writing about and whatever I’m writing on, it all comes out the same. If I’m writing about furniture, Dick Cheney, Palladio, or surfing—if I’m writing on coke, speed, acid, smack, booze, panic, sorrow, or just cigarettes, it all comes out Dave writing, so, if altering one’s consciousness doesn’t alter the outcome, maybe it’s not about that.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Dave Hickey, interviewed by Sheili Heti for The Believer: