My approach to art and philosophy:
1 I read in Bob Dylan’s autobiography that Woody Guthrie wrote songs about everyday things he saw in the street. This is what I do. Not songs necessarily but short reflections on everyday items. Poems maybe. I sometimes think that some people think this can be quite boring. No dramatic emotion-filled prose, the product of a tough back street childhood or action packed near death escape from certain disaster. I am into the ordinary, the sunlit street, the view from a café table, the snippet of overheard conversation, the bird fleetingly perched on the garden chair.
2 Time plays a big part in shaping my thoughts. Because I can’t get my brain around the huge expanses of infinity going both forward and back everything for me is of the moment. A spinning coin is a work of art even though the coin will stop spinning after a very short while. The fact that it has stopped is neither here nor there – it was of its time. The act of spinning is art as is its state having stopped spinning. Lying there motionless it also has a story to tell – not the same story perhaps as when it was spinning.
3 If I were to take a picture of a pebble I could probably invent lots of deep meaning in that image. Erosion of time. Loneliness in amongst millions of other pebbles. It’s too deep. I leave it to others to come to their own conclusions. Many might conclude nothing. This is no different to the pile of bricks or the unmade bed.
4 I usually like to see words flow easily in the mind. On these occasions it can be almost as if the words themselves don’t matter although it is nice if they both flow and make sense. When considering a subject that is in itself an uncomfortable topic the words don’t have to flow. A hesitant stream not easy to read reflects the difficult nature of the subject. Or so it should in my mind.
Hope that helps you understand the stuff that I do.
Philosopher on Tap is a vehicle for expressing ideas and thoughts and is a showcase for original creative material and ideas.
The birthplace and spiritual home of the Philosopher On Tap movement is the Morning Star on Greetwell Gate in Lincoln. The concept was dreamt up one evening by the fireside in the pub with Tel.
The original plan was to apply for an Arts Council Grant so that I could fund sitting in the pub talking about issues philosophical. Seemed like a good thing for the Arts Council to be spending my tax money on.
I did intend to spend most of the funding with a PR Agency to publicise the activity but the first Agency I approached couldn’t see the newsworthiness of the project. Where were my philosophic credentials? Who would want to listen?
They didn’t quite understand the beauty of the concept. That it actually didn’t matter whether I was a real expert in philosophy or not. The concept to me was a work of art, whether I had a queue of people wanting to talk or nobody.
I sacked the PR Agency and in the end didn’t get round to applying for the funding either. Seemed too much like hard work filling out forms. The alternative is this website.
The Morning Star is a traditional beer drinking pub. No restaurant or frills. You go there to talk and drink. It is just off the beaten path of the Bailgate so it doesn’t get filled with tourists. It and pubs like it hold Philosopher On Tap sessions every day of the year. There are probably more members of the worldwide Philosopher On Tap movement than there are in many major religions.
About Trefor Davies
In his day job Trefor Davies is Chief Technology Officer of Timico, an ISP serving the business sector in the UK. He writes a prominent industry blog at www.trefor.net and is a frequent commentator in the mainstream media in the UK on internet technology related matters.