We can not know or envision our future without knowing and understanding our past. Contemporary artists that actualize this in their art practice I admire, and am always very drawn to the art they create, the way they think, and who they are as individuals.
Particularly, I appreciate what Mel Chin refers to when he talks about making art. To paraphrase him, he says, it's not about one method of making art , and the technique used, is minor. What is important about making art he says, is the "diversity of ideas" and how they are transmitted.
What is compelling to me, is the trans-formative, and liberating power of what art making can and I believe, should be. I love what Mel Chin says about his art being "driven by poetry and pragmatism".
We cannot easily ignore our consumptive and contemporary society we live in, and thus our art at some point is bound to reflect it in one way or another. If not, I think we are trying to live an insular and isolated existence.
Contemporary art must take into consideration what has gone before, needs a mindfulness of the present, reflects on how our past, considering the affects and effects of all these states in time, that can or will transform our vision for hopefully, a better world, in the future.
All of the artists included in this particular Art 21 video, take these matters seriously into account, in one way or another. They are encouraging us to shift our perceptions, are transforming, liberating, inventing, and expanding our imaginations and enable us to examine our values within our present contemporary world. I love Art 21!