Globatron’s Art Laws #6 – Art is a calling.

Posted by on Jan 30, 2009 in Akbar Lightning, Laws

I just spoke with Byron on the phone, one day after his major brain surgery.  It really blows my mind, seriously, he is in amazing shape.  And of course, he wanted to talk about art, and about Globatron.  His dedication to this pursuit is an inspiration to me as is his courage with what he is going through.  Anyways, he wanted to know about this discussion, and I told him i was having difficulty coming up with another thought provoking law, and of course, he had one at hand.  amazing.

#6  Art is a calling.

I want to also let everybody know that he is hard at work on his ‘Cure for Cancer’ drawing series.  already at work.  personally, i would take a few days off, but hey, as the law says, it’s a calling, and i posted it cause I agree 100 percent with it.

Go byron, and here we go layin down the law again.

freak it.

akbar lightning

p.s. –  btw, byron and i were talking about collecting this entire discussion into a volume to release as the first Globatron published work, as it has become a very rich and interesting journey, and it has a coherence we think would make a great book, so jump into posterity.



  1. markcreegan
    January 31, 2009

    Great news about Globyron! My computer at home is broken (blue screen of death and everything!)so I dont know how much yet I will be able to post here in the next few days, but I am still very interested in these conversations, its a lot of fun!
    keep on keepin on!

  2. Byron King
    February 1, 2009

    I’m back home. Typing is hard. I really have to think about it. My left side is sort of mush, but I love this law. This to me is the essence of the arts. It cuts to the core of it. We do it because we are called to do it. This is the reason there is such a small amount of art degree graduates still involved usually after ten years from their graduation. I believe I read long ago that if you are still doing it ten years after graduation that you are part of the twenty percent that is.

    Hey guys. I’m fine. Just a little stunned. I’ll need rehab but will be doing it at the house. Check out the photos Dana took on the post above if you get time.

    I’m not even supposed to be talking right now. The doctor was very excited for me and believes I’ll make a full recovery. I’ll be writing brief updates on facebook as things come back online. It really is like an outer body experience with my left side. Like someone attached someone’s left arm and leg, and I have to relearn how to use it. Crazy but kind of fun.

    And to follow up on the Art can’t be Taught law. I wondered why no one talked about how art schools aren’t really teaching art or to me I don’t think they are. They are teaching the thirst for knowledge. To me all degree programs are teaching you to how to learn for yourself. If you can learn that you can do just about anything regardless of the degree.

    Just wanted you to all know everything works. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. I’m not supposed to be doing this well. It’s wonderful to prove the odds wrong twice now.

  3. kelly
    February 2, 2009

    Art is a calling. I say this is true. No one decides to make art because it’ll pay the bills with money to spare for long vacations. Art is a calling and it doesn’t stop. When you’re driven, you’re driven. You are a vehicle. I can’t find an online source but in Joyce Carol Oates’ collection of essays called The Faith of a Writer, she has an essay called Inspiration, which expresses how I feel on this pretty well. Basically that the artist and the individual are separate entities that sort of occupy the same body.

    Good to know you’re doing well, Byron. I wish you the best of health and luck.

  4. Akbar Lightning
    February 2, 2009

    all of these laws have implications. Art is not aesthetics urges us to question the notion of physical beauty and ask what is deeper than that.

    and this law, Art is a calling, it begs the question, or a few questions:

    1. What is it that is calling?

    2. What are our choices, to surrender to it or to resist it? Are there more?


  5. Frank
    February 3, 2009

    On that note, “calling” is often used to refer to God’s (God as a singularity, not arbitrary force) calling on a person to a certain direction in life, such as Jonah. The idea implying a destiny designed with heavenly intentions. The idea of ‘God given talent’ usually follows close behind.

    Does the spiritual aspect of “calling” still apply here, or is it something not so divine.

    I use ‘Jonah’ as an example in reference to Akbar’s second question. ?

    Anyhoo, ‘calling’ is a highly charged term with all it can imply.

  6. Akbar Lightning
    February 3, 2009

    One can also look at this as desire. and desire too is a mysterious thing, where does it come from?

    there are psychological approaches to this question, but sometimes they don’t quite tell the whole story.

    art fulfills for many people a kind of companion role. the activity fills in the blank line that existence draws out as we ask ourselves why we are here.

    but even that is kind of post-phenomenon. we might not be able to get at the roots of the artistic person, and this inability in some way is a defense of this law.

    that begs the question of whether or not that calling is something that can be recognized. in other words, can one artist spot another one, like vampires?

    it seems that artists tend to group into different classes, all recognizing different strains of art. Perhaps art is a genus, and the forms of art are species.

    that makes me think that culture is further up on the organizational chart, then what is parallel with art? Music? Writing?

    then are some people called to be culturalists? engaging in all those activities.

    each question leads to 10 more.

    it reminds me of how scientists are constantly trying to come up with laws that define life, only to find organisms that are outside those boundaries.

    it is no surprise why Plato needed to develop a theory of forms, ideals that drive life, ideals that can never be fully understood yet have so much power in our lives. it is like we are living with multiple gods, a mythological universe.

    the question is this:

    Is the idea ‘art’, is it real, does it have power, or is it empty?

    do these ideals drive us, and what do we believe it drives us toward?

    akbar lightning

  7. Mark "couldn't resist" Creegan
    February 3, 2009


    -Whois this?
    -Its Art.
    -Oh, hey Art.
    -Was happennin’?
    -Not much, you?
    -Uh, nah. Im thinking of hangin out at the Kent Gallery tonight between 6 and 8. Wanna come?
    – nah. too hoitytoidy.
    -yeah, maybe I’ll just come over your place ta hang.
    -see ya.
    -bye Art.

  8. Akbar Lightning
    February 3, 2009

    knock knock

    who’s there?


    Art who?


  9. markcreegan
    February 7, 2009

    In an attempt to re-spark this thread (sorry if my lil joke derailed it, that wasnt my intention)

    This one certianly ties in with the previous discussions and I like Akbars idea of perhaps pointing to some biological/Darwinian source. I am not very religious so obvious a word like “calling” seems over the top to me. But I do there are those that have a real connection to creativity (something all humans share but not all tap into very deeply).

    And I would like to separate “creativity” from “Art” since the later is a cultural construct that has only been in existence since the Renaissance. I realize that by doing so we would have to include all aspects of creativity like scientific, culinary, political, etc- things perhaps outside of cultural production. But i dont think that would be inappropriate because, by focussing on the idea of creativity, so many more human activities apply and I think the concept of finding a root link becomes perhaps more tangible.

    BUT I do think when it comes to “artism”, the cultural art procucing kind, we have to bring up the idea of contrarianism. Simply because there is something that prevented the artist from conformity (to differing degrees). I dont necessarily mean the disestablishmentarian sort, it could be simply a stubborness to never stop examining the world thru a critical or alternative subjectivity.
    And on a more mechanical level, I think there is something that keeps the artist engaged with either materials or ideas or both. Perhaps something primal as well.

  10. Akbar Lightning
    February 8, 2009

    mark, the best words yet. your last comment is deep, there is very little defense, just purely speaking your mind, and it is good, i almost resist taking a perspective against or for, just merely trying to point others to take it seriously. there are some very important issues you raise.

    for my part, i’m going to sleep on it, but i like it, and I will dig into it, it’s like standing at a crossroads.



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