The Significance of Art Today

We live in a time when our culture seems to be actively throwing every ancient value overboard in its effort to be free to be whatever we want to be. It seems that we are loosing every reference point in our attempts to build common ground and a common sense of value. Instead of freeing itself, the result is that the culture is stepping into the void – stepping into a view of the world with no up or down, no ground, no direction. In its effort to redefine itself, the culture is actually loosing its ability to define anything at all.

But there is one thing that our generation does not question – the reality and centrality of art. Though we question everything we do not question the beauty and power of creativity. It seems to be one of the last standing “truths” of our time. Though we have denied everything else, we cling to the aesthetic in every part of culture today. And I think that it is therefore a powerful foundation of common understanding and conversation. It is a bridge – a medium for this seeking to understand and speak truth into this broken world.

This is why I am particularly excited about the Canvas Conference. This is an event that zeros in on this issue. It is a time to really dig down and unpack the significance of the creative drive of our time. It is an opportunity to understand ourselves better. It is a time to be equipped in carrying out the most beautiful message of all to a broken world.

Creativity and Theology

I love to read and write. The guy next to me makes videos and plays something like five musical instruments. The audience around us is composed of a wide variety of creatives including photographers, designers, musicians and writers. In the coming days we will hear from poets, preachers, professors, theologians, rappers and singer/songwriters. Canvas 2016 is about to start.

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Creativity & Humanity

The moment I stepped into the sanctuary I knew that this was going to be something different. The only lights in the worship area are blue and they light the stage, where a white bearded DJ sits mixing an eclectic beat. The music comprised a unique combination of electronic sounds, strings and percussion, with the occasional echo of everyday sounds – chirping birds, bells and vocals. A light white smoke drifts among the amps, wires and speakers. A fragmented mural Jesus looks down from the high wall behind the stage. A thoughtful transcendence fills the room. It smells like coffee.

 

Canvas Conference 2016 is about to start.

 

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