Swings

[Exclusive Translation] Swings on “The War of Art”

In Miscellaneous by Andrew

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On September 8, Just Music CEO and artist Swings shared his thoughts on the struggle between human primal instinct and creativity. Check out the translation below:

Our brain is divided into three sections.

Of the three, the most primal part is often called the “lizard brain” because unlike humans, reptiles only have this part of the brain. Responsible for our anger, sexuality, survival, and basic needs, the “lizard brain” is said to be the major drive for our existence. For example, the most recently developed part of our brain (forgot the name) drives our creativity and is easily overthrown by the “lizard brain” in situations where the two are in conflict.

To illustrate, we’ll use an analogy proposed by Seth Godin: Let’s say that I was drawing a picture at home, when all of a sudden a fire erupts from within and I only have 20 seconds to escape death. Then what? My first instinct would be to drop my pencil and escape through the window. The sense of urgency that allows me to escape is driven instinctively by this “lizard brain.”

You might be wondering why I’m talking about this on Chuseok day.

We are all artists. (We can achieve ANYTHING if we put in the effort, period)

Many friends have asked me by letter or in person, the same way Plato have asked Socrates: “Swings, how can I be creative? I fail every time I try to create art. ㅠㅠ Please give me some ideas” and so on.

In the past, and even to this day I still struggle when creating art. Here are some examples: I always end up on Kakaotalk despite my attempt to compose a melody; although I ate only a few minutes ago, I constantly and passively think about pork cutlet; after watching a relaxing movie I am tempted to go out and play (and I often end up playing).

So why do said temptations arise in the first place?

Because of our damned brain. Our “lizard brain” blocks our creative thoughts. (sounds insane but several books talk about this)

Biological sustainability is our [lizard] brain’s priority. So why does it block our creativity? Because we are blamed when we create poor products. Why is it bad to be blamed? Because being blamed leads to becoming shunned from our society. What’s so bad about being shunned? Because isolation may lead us to lose our sense of purpose in life. Isolation can lead to apoptosis (self-destruction). If we go back in time, far along back with no electricity, no gun and no fence, humans survived only in packs. Humans thrived by sticking together. By showing vulnerability/hostility to the rest of the pack, you risk getting kicked out, which compromises your survivability. Who will protect you in your sleep? How will you catch that rabbit, unskin it without attracting animals from the smell of blood, cook it, eat it and find a place to stay? In the pitch darkness, a snake could slither under your blankets.

Therefore, we, as humans, instinctively know that: Isolation/alone = death

In relation to our creative mind:

When I go on stage, my dancing is awful. Do I get laughed at? Naturally, I feel vulnerable.

Even in this day and age, everyone has experienced being bullied or isolated, right? You literally feel like dying.

You fear for your life. This feeling is stimulated by the “lizard brain.” Our creative thoughts and our will to step out of our comfort zone is blocked by the very same part of the brain. 

The reason why we experience writer’s block and why not everyone will audition for SUPERSTAR K.

There is another book I recommend called “The War of Art” (I gave copies to several people including Beenzino and Zion.T, but didn’t receive much feedback… was it the title of the book?

Read the title. The War of Art.

The struggle of creating art is not only with other artists but also within ourselves. My biggest enemy is myself. I cannot possibly count the number of times I gave up from writing my lyrics. There is no easy way out. There is no booming choir from the heavens. Becoming inspired is like squeezing that last bit of toothpaste. It doesn’t come out that easy.

But you need to do it. Because art is a gift. Humanity requires art.

Art is about risk. There is no meaning in art without risk. There is no sense of accomplishment and success if we simple copy one another.

The irony is that we fear our own creativity because of the risk of failure. However, people will applaud you for stepping forward to overcome that fear.

That’s why it’s beautiful. Because it negates the “nature” of ourselves [referring to the “lizard brain”]. Some say it’s rebellious. No one will look down on a purposeful rebel (unless if you’re twisted).

To the guys and gals who will rebel against yourself:

Let’s change the world biatches.

I’m no different than you. No matter how difficult, speak your mind and speak your soul. Otherwise we are no different than North Korea.

For the love of god someone give me strength. Our society needs rebels. We need rebels who will continue to push the status quo.

We need change. We live in a passive society where individuals are forced to stand in a circle and hold up a large status quo net. The majority carry on their lives meaninglessly, while those who speak their mind and drop the net will end up getting killed. 

No one will be killed if everyone dropped the net. 

This is how I think of our current society. Don’t you agree with me?

Then let’s create something and show to the world.

We need leaders.

Let’s fight, let’s push, and let’s win. Let’s change the world.

Enjoy that Korean pancake on Chuseok day. Peace.

This year is mine. Shut up Bobby.

Source: Moon Swings (Facebook)

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