10 / 10 / 2016


The Question: How (from your experience and perspective) do artistic practices create public sphere?

I believe that all artistic practice is public because art is a form of communication and in all communication both sending and receiving by someone is fundamental. As soon as there is a public, something is being built. The separation between the private sphere and the public sphere seems to me something specific to our era, it is a somewhat artificial construction provided by how we live socially today. Precisely in art one can see that communication is the same whether it is for a small group of familiar people or for a bigger group of unknown people. Perhaps that is one of art’s particularities in constructing social fabric or relationships: that it does not differentiate so much between one sphere and another. Reflecting on the public and private spheres, we identify very specific ways of communication that are associated to each of them: the private is more affective and the public is almost exclusively discursive. In that sense, art occurs in another dimension that is between the affective and the discursive, and it is indispensable for the construction of social networks.

It is as a musician that I experience art. Music has this highly pleasurable scenic part, concerts, in which this communication is made very evident because it is perhaps less rigid than what can be found in the theatre, the cinema or other scenic arts. The public can have a more active role: it moves, dances, sings, talks… At a concert one can clearly see how something is happening that is constructive in itself: people get together in a place around a common interest and relate to it. It is not an isolated act, but instead transforms and involves people. That is something key, and can be extrapolated to the other arts. Even when it is not a case of direct communication, when you make a disc and someone listens to it at home, you are also involved in constructing a link. That is what art causes in me, not only as a musician but also as a receiver. They are moments of very pure and disinterested pleasure. It is not discourse, it is not affect, it is an exchange that flows in a different way and makes me communicate with people; it causes a movement in me.

There is a difference between art and entertainment. Artistic experiences are very constitutive experiences for me. It is not a case of going to a place so that they tell you something and then going home to get on with your things. Art transforms, and I believe that that is something fundamental for the creation of what is public, or what is social (if we do not want to differentiate public from private).