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Assumptions


May 28, 2017

Daniel and Kyle are both creative people and both have a relentless drive to create. Why? Why create art when there is more than enough already? What happens when our art goes unseen and unvalued? Such deep questions. 

 

The film The Matrix (1999) is briefly alluded to.

Examples of Daniel's photography and writing can be found on his website, www.danielmelvilljones.com. Kyle's YouTube channel is https://www.youtube.com/user/Maddog53. 

Kyle mentions the character actor Stephen Tobolowsky, who has a podcast called The Tobolowsky Files. http://www.slashfilm.com/category/features/slashfilmcast/the-tobolowsky-files/

Daniel quotes the German choreographer Pina Bausch: "Dance, dance, otherwise we are lost." This, of course, is the title of our episode. The quote appears in the trailer for Wim Winders film Pina (2011) (https://www.criterion.com/films/28404-pina).

The article that Daniel was trying to pitch did, in the end, get published. http://www.mbird.com/2017/05/healing-wings-on-highway-winds-an-interview-with-wesley-randolph-eader/. The under appreciated piece he described receiving as a gift can be found here: http://www.danielmelvilljones.com/blog/victoria

Many of Daniel's thoughts on the role of the gift in art making come from Lewis Hyde's book The Gift: How the Creative Spirit Transforms the World (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gift:_Imagination_and_the_Erotic_Life_of_Property). It boasts ringing endorsements from Margaret Atwood and David Foster Wallace, so you should probably go check it out. 

Charlie Chaplin gets a well deserved shout out, and this beautiful scene from his 1940 classic The Great Dictator is alluded to (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqyQfjDScjU). The full movie is available on YouTube and you should absolutely, 100% check it out. https://youtu.be/yPQKFDf2BEM

Daniel quotes from David Bayles & Ted Orland's great little book Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking. (https://www.amazon.ca/Art-Fear-Observations-Rewards-Artmaking/dp/0961454733) Here's the full quote:

"'Artist' has gradually become a form of identity which (as every artist knows) often carriers with it as many drawbacks as benefits. Consider that if artists equals self, then when (inevitably) you make flawed art, you are a flawed person, and when (worse yet) you make no art, you are no person at all!" 

Kyle quotes from Ira Glass, the creator of the This American Life (https://www.thisamericanlife.org/podcast). A portion of this quote hangs framed in Kyle's living room:

"Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

Kyle mentions Lorne Michaels, the creator of Saturday Night Live, and Marc Maron, creator of the acclaimed podcast WTF.

Kyle also mentioned the universal types of stories. More information on these can be found here: http://io9.gizmodo.com/the-universal-shapes-of-stories-according-to-kurt-vonn-1526559996

The verse from the Bible that Daniel quotes is Ecclesiastes 12:12: "My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of the making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh."

The comedian Rodney Dangerfield is mentioned, as the artist Vincent Van Gough. But Kyle urges you to avoid the works of Uwe Boll, especially his film Bloodrayne. 

 

Further Reading: 

A beautiful video of Ira Glass' words can be found here: https://vimeo.com/85040589

Daniel's views on the role of creativity in eternity are indebted to Randy Alcorn, specially this talk he gave at a conference Daniel attended (starting at the 12:20 mark): https://youtu.be/aMelVhrxtPM

For an overview of the biblical book of Ecclesiastes, Daniel highly recommends this beautiful video from The Bible Project: https://youtu.be/VeUiuSK81-0. (For anyone looking for an overview of the themes of the Bible, Daniel definitely recommends the rest of The Bible Project's videos.)

 

Credits:

Assumptions is written and produced by Daniel Melvill Jones and Kyle Marshall.

This episode edited by Kyle Marshall.

Our soundtrack comes from The Parson Red Heads, whose new acclaimed album, Blurred Harmony, comes out June 9th.

Podcast artwork designed by Chris Taniguchi 

Photography by Jen Hall

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