This still image from the 1902 silent film “Le Voyage Dans La Lune”, written and directed by Georges Méličs, shows “the man in the moon” with a bullet-shaped space capsule lodged in his eye.
Besides being the story of my first daunting art school assignment (see the post here), I want to explain what “consider moon” means in regards to a way of being an artistic process.”Moon” can really be anything here. I think the teacher just used moon to fill in the blank because the moon is an active player in the ebb and flow of creation. But assuming as an artist you have some vague concept or subject that you are seeking to explore, the real assignment, or solution, would be:
Let ______ consider you.
Basically, what this solution is saying, is that creativity + imagination together will bring you to a place where you are producing art that is truly meaningful to you, while also helping you to grow as an artist by learning and exploring.
The definition of “consider” is “To fix the mind on, with a view to a careful examination; to think on with care; to ponder; to study; to meditate on.”
“Consider” has many capacities. It is non-rivalrous (meaning it is accessible to anyone; it is combined knowledge, and all public knowledge which is available to you… science, culture, peoples. Research at the museum, the library, the radio. In this respect my teacher compared a dictionary to Castor oil (loosens things up!) “Consider” is where creativity comes in to the creative process. It is to explore all facets and possible meanings of a thing.
“Let ___ consider you” is your own private experiences, your unique encounters, specific to you and only you. It is charged and personal. It is rivalrous – you and only you own it. It is where imagination comes in to the creative process. Our imaginations can be dark and mysterious, and anything is possible.
“Imagination has brought mankind through the dark ages. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity.” L. Frank Baum
Something that might help you visualize this process is imagining creativity (“considering”) is air, and imagination (“being considered”) is soil. Now imagine your artistic idea is a tiny seed. When seeds are planted, they need both air and soil, which is why the planter will loosen up the soil around the seed to create an environment of both air and soil. In this way the seed is most likely to grow! That “loosening up” is exactly what “consider moon, let moon consider you” is all about.
This exercise, of considering moon and letting moon consider you, should in essence help the artist “establish clarity of understanding through research of both the external (the real hard stuff of libraries, knowledge & history) and the internal (your feelings and thoughts). With one only, there is no learning. Without the action (doing) that is part of your consideration, there is no meaning established.
Your ideas can be wonderful, but if your actions do not exhibit consideration of those ideas, then those ideas have lost their potential value. Your concerns can be of the utmost sincerity and sympathy, but, without that necessary celebration, there is nothing shared and nothing learned by you, or anyone else.”
“We have all taken risks and then found ourselves uncomfortable in that raw land. Vulnerable, we are awkward and unable to speak without possible loss of image or status with our peers. And yet, despite this fear, we realize that we cannot fault others: it is we who must be vulnerable and honest; despite our fear of failure, there really isn’t a choice; And despite fear, we, you and I, must always speak and act with honesty and with vulnerability and with love, with grace, with wonder, with gentleness, with hope, with pride and with joy.
This class may feel confusing and frustrating at times and lead you to no action at all. You might begin to blame yourself or curse others (me). This is of no use to you or anyone else. My advice is to remember why you came to this Institute. If you came here to develop a language and the skills to speak honestly and clearly about matters you care about, then that is good.”