TC Podcast Ep. 10 - Art, Society, and Citizenship with Bryan Santiago of Looker Lab

"Art is the most intense mode of individualism the world has known." ~Oscar Wilde

"The artist is not a special kind of person, rather each person is a special kind of artist." ~Ananda Coomaraswamy

Elements of the interconnection between art, capitalism, politics, citizenship, society, and individual choice/power is what emerged from this conversation. 

The conversation between Bryan and I reached into the realm of the current bleak political landscape and direct challenges on capitalism.  It was a welcome opportunity.   Most forward-thinkers and modern seekers are no strangers to perspectives on cultural and political degradation.  I want to keep pushing my own boundaries and I am glad Bryan and I both were up for what emerged organically.

It was great to learn about Bryan's path as an artist.  It was amazing to see how Bryan's career has been influenced by prevailing norms and has morphed into something self-defined which allows him fulfillment, creative expression in his professional digital media work, and the opportunity to simultaneously pursue meaningful, substantive artistic projects. 

Ultimately here was one of my key takeaways...hope and optimism always seems to come from the power inherent in each individual to stand up for their own artistry, what he/she believes in, and to boldly pursue a relationship with society which expresses truth, justice, and love.  And it was great to see how Bryan's choices have shaped a life which represents the possibilities of transformation and supporting others to realize greater degrees of self-expression.  

Our conversation touched on the following themes:

  • Broader social context and individual decision-making
  • Interconnection between valuation of arts, the role of corporations, and lack of cultural appreciation
  • Balance between optimism and criticism to get real and move the conversation forward in constructive ways
  • What is our civic duty in times of bleak political landscape (might even be called a soap opera)
  • Role of compassion and avoiding blame in political discourse
  • Democratization and empowerment through social media—there’s a story behind even a simple product because there’s a person behind it ("Even if it’s a simple product and you don’t think there’s a story behind it, there’s a story behind it because there’s a person behind it")
  • The feeling of overwhelm that many are dealing with, shortcomings of hyper capitalism—panic and anxiety
  • Practical approach to transitioning from a more traditional job context
  • Why it can be scary to make transition—why not try, life is too short to be miserable—
  • How showing up for yourself is one of the best things you can do
  • The collective trap of looking for a person out there to tell you what to do

As always, thanks for listening and all the best.