Blog by Bjørn Venø

Blog by Bjørn Venø


The artist Venø works with photography video and performance. He tries hard at being a licensed fool and has a burning desire to explore beyond our paradigm.

There is no right way, only your way

ThoughtsPosted by Bjørn Venø Wed, March 30, 2016 23:37:12

I wanted to look at some words, phrases and ideas I use repeatedly, mainly because they are important to me and embody a strong essence of how I think. After that I wanted to see how they connected in a condensed form, from which four new words arose all of which were connected to various forms of truth. Every text I write is part of my personal exploration, reflection on why I make art (/work), search for active happiness and why I believe in what I have to say. Each text is chopping away on creating the same spear point; each time is an attempt at making it pointier, sharper, more focused and deadlier.

Exploration: Is the purpose of life. To seek out and discover oneself, the world and others.

Truth: It is forever evolving.

Discovered Truth: Is a truth that exists only in the moment it was found. The ‘real’ moment.

Shadow of Discovered Truth: Is the truth we are able to show others. The photograph of the ‘real’ moment.

Final Truth: Does not exist, if it did it would negate the need for exploration.

Natural Fool: The person who cannot help but be a fool.

Licensed Fool: I use this expression with two alternating and seemingly similar meanings. 1. The person who takes on the attributes of the natural fool, he uses it as a tool to explore. 2. A description for anyone who has searched for there own methodology, gone against the statues quo, but most likely would not have perceived them selves as licensed fools.

The Hero: A Licensed Fool, can be of either the two meanings, who explored and was able to share what he found.

The Tyrant: A Licensed Fool who became a Hero and a Hero who became a tyrant because what he found became the status quo.

Want: When you follow what you want you are regressing as a person. Want is connected to what you know you like.

Need: When you follow your need you grow as a person. Need is connected to what you do not know and it is impartial to if you like it or not.

Passive Happiness: Is of the body. It is determined by exterior forces stimulating your senses, manipulating how you shall experience.

Active Happiness: Is of the mind. It is determined by interior forces, such as how you chose to perceive what you are experiencing.

As humans it is easy to want passive happiness, but we need active happiness to fulfil our purpose as humans. We can achieve active happiness by exploring, there are many ways to explore, and one way might be to truly use all our senses to experience the moment. Another way we can explore is to take on the attributes of the natural fool and become a licensed fool. The different ways one chose to explore will give different results, and by using methodologies one might be lead towards predetermined outcomes, therefore it is important to find ones own way of how to explore.

No matter how you chose to explore, I believe ones exploration can lead to the discovery of a truth. At which point we can return to our fellow humans and share the shadow of our discovered truth, it is a shadow since we can only experience discovering a truth by exploring for our selves. We can try to share our methodology for exploring, but the more rigid that methodology is the more likely what is discovered is also a shadow. If the people embrace the shadow of our discovery we become the hero. At this point the hero and their discovery risks becoming the tyrant, it can happen if we profess that what we found is the final truth, and present the shadow of what we discovered as the real experience and hinder others from exploring, in turn taking away the purpose of living. The shadow we shared with the people was meant to encourage exploration, not to be represented as the final truth. Even if the hero does not become the tyrant, others can turn the discovery in to the tyrant, in particular people of influence who have not explored them selves, but wish to maintain a statues quo, because it perpetuates their passive happiness, often they will do this by assimilating the new truth in to the old truth or vice versa. The hero can avoid becoming the tyrant by not becoming the hero in the first place. Instead letting people find him, and because one must explore to find him, those who do might be able to see a discovered truth. The paradox is that our history is littered with fallen heroes on which bones tyrants rule the world. Every person who has seen or glimpsed a discovered truth knows the tyrants are leading humanity to our doom, but cannot say it without risking becoming a tyrant. As I have already suggested giving a methodology for how to discover a truth, is practically the same as giving the shadow of the truth. I believe if the methodology is not rigid and gives endless room and possibility to make it ones own, then there is a good chance that one can find a truth. This can be improved further if that methodology gives room for other ideas to exist alongside it, even if they should contradict. I believe the licensed fool is such a methodology and that is why it is a central part of my work.

I have long struggled with the need to reach out and connect to people because, I have glimpsed a truth and can see the tyrant’s rule, which has given me an idealistic desire to direct humanity away from regression and or self-destruction, instead I wish to point us towards a path that I believe will lead towards evolution. I have been frustrated that most people do not have the ability to see. Only certain minds are able to perceive, but I have never been interested in making work for them, because I see preaching to the converted as futile. However I have slowly come to a conclusion that even though the people I make work for never get to see it, I must continue to make it, for if it is discovered by people instead of forced upon them than it fulfils its purpose and stays what it is meant to be without becoming the tyrant. The less support and encouragement I get, the purer, rawer and more honest my work becomes. By coming to this conclusion I feel I might be closer to active happiness.

I believe that I have something to give people, that is more important than pop culture, religion, porn, politics, fashion, entertainment, and broadcast sport. In short anything that is formulaic and stimulates passive happiness. I must admit that I have believed this since the age of 18, maybe younger. It has taken on different forms, but at its core I believe it was always the same. What I have to give is not mine, it is not my idea, I do not own it in anyway, it is of humanity, it has existed as long as us. It is exploration and active happiness, we all have it, but society is taking it away from us. All my work is to varying degrees focused on stimulating, encouraging and advocating the return to exploration and active happiness.

If I ever become successful in my endeavour, I risk becoming the tyrant, but worse making the ideas tyrannical. But hear is the thing, the concept of exploration and active happiness are not possible to commodify, one can make simulacrums of the concept, which is practically the shadow of the truth, but they will still exist as evolving and changing truths, that are relative to each individual who seek them out on their own.

Turning an idea in to a commodity is making it in to passive happiness. The more successful it is as a commodity the greater it enslaves us from our true purpose as humans.

To me Art is work that encourages you to explore, when perceiving such art you cannot be passive, you must be active and therefore it stimulates active happiness.

Women were perceived as passive, they did not explore, they were considered objects to be owned by men. Then came feminism, women took ownership of them selves, said that we can be active, we can explore and they did. One could say that feminism has already don what I am advocating. However I believe feminism has become the tyrant. It has found it self in a self-propagating loop. The methodology though wide, has become restricting. I believe some feminists have tried to create a patch, by saying that feminism also includes all genders, which whilst being true, does not solve the problem, as perceptions are hard to change. I see feminism as one good steep in the right direction, but let’s not stop there. At first I thought a counterbalance was needed, that we should look at male identity. Women did it, men should do it to, explore our selves, reflect on who we are… However I soon realised this would be just the other side of the coin, and in time become as problematic as I perceived feminism to have become. Coming to that realisation was how I gained the belief that every one of us should work towards active happiness and exploration, under the banner of that we are all human and not one specific gender, race or nationality. Said like that it sounds like happy go lucky nonsense or mouldy residue from the hippie culture. But if that is how you feel, then I fear you are not able to perceive what I’m saying. Maybe the hippie culture was another attempt at taking a steep in the right direction, but unlike feminism, that still has some positive to it, I feel that the hippie culture totally collapsed in on it self and became commodifiade to the extent that it lost all meaning. Let me put it in another way, have you ever listened to a band that was only cool to you, used a computer that nobody else used, read an amazing book that only you and a handful of friends new about? And then one day it became popular, and you noticed that people just bought it because it was popular and that those people completely missed the point or the magic of it. Then some months later, copycats emerged who also did not understand the hart of it, until it lost all meaning. That is commodification, and that is where passive happiness leads too, meaningless. That is what I mean when I say: “not able to perceive”, because you are not exploring for your self, you are following the crowd, when you should be going down your own path.

I presume it is clear by now that I perceive our current society of capitalism to be at the core of our problem and that it is a beast that turns anything good in to a heaping pool of stinky brown shit for us to roll around in. I do not know what would happen if the majority truly explored and strived for active happiness, but I believe that together we would be able to create a society that works better than this one, a society that fosters growth instead of regression. Most importantly I believe we would be able to avoid turning society in to a tyrant, because there would be no trends, fashions and popular culture, instead everyone would explore in different directions, find their own voice, not the platitude of it that we see today, but individuals without signifiers, truly being encouraged and enabled to go where no one has gone before. The key thing with active happiness is that you cannot buy it, it cannot be given to you, nobody can tell you how to perceive it, you have to find it and perceive it for your self. If the majority achieved active happiness… then our current society would be void.

There is no right way to explore or method to achieve active happiness, only your way, and if you are told that there is a path to active happiness, know that is always the wrong way.

  • Comments(1)

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Posted by CXXXC Sat, May 14, 2016 05:49:44

I believe in you with all my heart and soul.