“You’ve got your own voice so sing
You’ve got two hands, let’s go and make anything
We all got rules we all have to break
We all have to make those mistakes”
-Cat Power, “Human Being”
We were recently enjoying Cat Power’s album, Sun, here in the office, when we came across this endearing photo by @cannamelier of, well, a different kind of Cat Power! This sparked a discussion of ‘Power’ in general – power versus empowerment, power versus strength.
Ultimately ‘Power’ is defined in terms of forces creating outward changes quickly, whereas ‘Strength’ has more to do with the ability to remain inwardly the same for long periods of time, regardless of outside forces. Empowerment refers to processes that increase the relative strength of a person or group.
As a community of artisans, almost every member of our Flight Crew has personally experienced the empowerment that comes from making things that empower others. And this is the key: the empowering of others. More than just making art for art’s sake, there is the recognition that the art itself must go beyond merely being art – it must be functional, useful.
This is the at the root of the famous quote “Real Artists Ship!” (Thank you, Steve Jobs). Unless someone is willing to actually buy it, use it, or it somehow makes their lives better, there is no value, no meaning, no greater purpose. Art is not made only for the artist’s sake, as in some form of self-pleasuring (<insert contextual joke here>); it is made for the real benefit of the audience. We make products – something of real benefit to people – and we want to ensure that those things are beneficial on many levels: beautiful as well as functional, serving mind, body, and spirit. That is our definition of authentic success.
At Magic-Flight, we have musicians and DJ’s creating sound experiences for others to participate in, as well as fine artists and craftsmen, regularly manifesting vision into form. This occurs both in their own art, and in the creation of products to which they lend their skills. Over time, we have discovered that the archetypes of the artist and the magician are in fact one. Each employs means of the other (visual, metaphysical) to shape reality. To know yourself as the origin of your own experiences is, in our opinion, the true basis of personal empowerment.