Performance, Performativity, cont’d…

So it’s 2 AM last night and I can’t sleep, so I decide to take this walk – I work sitting down and I’ve recently come to believe that might not be healthy. Anyway, I think the worst thing for insomnia is to lie awake, and since this is the second night in a row, I figure I’ll do something different.
And it’s a really beautiful, breezy summer night, just muggy enough to make the breeze that much better, and I’m thinking about this conversation Josh Hodges and I had a couple of months ago, about making music and performing music, and about how differently he experiences the two.
Part of it is that there’s a freedom to creation, where you’re working through all these possible versions and choosing the one that’s going to be the final product. Another part, it’s that when he’s writing music there is a sense of discovery that he doesn’t have when he’s performing. But I think the biggest gap is between doing and seeming.
Josh said he was really alienated by what our society & how we treat rock stars. I think he meant the way we deliberately idolize them and treat them as something other than human. But there’s this other sense, where we infantalize them & want to see them indulge their childish whims, where we really feel dissapointed if their desires aren’t outsized & distorted. Making music’s about doing art, for Josh. But he can’t seem to get beyond the sense that performing on stage is just about seeming artistic.