Is there a purpose of art?
I’d found myself drawn to this question a lot off late. This inquiry started becoming prominent earlier this year when I’d started spending quite a bit of time writing on my blog and for other online publications. Don’t get me wrong. I loved the process of writing. Even though, however excruciating it can be sometimes to sit at the blank paper with no motivation to write.
The feelings that never found an expression in my spoken words bloomed and flourished when I sat writing on a paper.
I started writing last year after I’d completed post graduation in business management. This was also the first time in a long while that I was without a short term goal. Before this, for a long time, it was always something that I wanted to achieve. First it was admission to an engineering college. Then campus placement. Worked for a while. But then again started to prepare for a B School admission. Followed by focus on placements again.
Obtaining a degree in business management along with a campus placement was the last tick in my to-do list when it came to my academic career. Soon, I found myself with a big problematic void. Yes, I was to join an MNC in a couple of months, but then it was no more a sprint after that. It would be a life long marathon as a business professional.
Luckily, I found writing. Or writing found me. And I started having other goals. Start a blog, write for publications. Expand writing horizon. Among many others.
But then, I thought one day, what is the purpose the art in general. What does it offer other than the creative satisfaction that a person involved in the art gets or the consumer of art experiences? And these feelings are fleeting and momentary at best.
It was then that I stumbled upon this beautiful thought by Langer which said:
The aim of art is insight, understanding of the essential life of feeling.
It is really true.
The creation and consumption of art changes us, changes our thoughts in a way that creates favorable environment for insights in a completely different fields.
It satisfied some of my curiosity about the purpose of art. But I was still not satisfied. For I wanted to know whether art can create a tangible output, a change that can be immediately felt.
That is when I read about the Global Citizen Festival.
And it got me thinking. The show focused on raising awareness about the poverty. Then I thought, isn’t it the perfect example how art can contribute to make a difference in the society. Contribute in a tangible way. How many of us would have given a thought about this topic if not for this show around music and musicians? The art has a power to pull people towards it, galvanize it, make it think and ponder even for a fleeting second, and in lieu of the mass attraction it creates it is bound to create a substantial effect in the thinking.
And that’s how big changes start. From the modest of the thinking. Smallest of the ideas.
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Also published on Medium.