Uppercase Art: You do it, too, and you know it
We don’t know each other, you and I, but I bet we have some things in common. Oxygen dependency/addiction. At least two working senses. Recurring sadness. Aggravating typographical quirks. What’s that? We don’t have that last one in common? Oh, for shame. I shall explain then, since it’s important. Especially when I talk about art. Or rather, Art.
I, your author, have a tendency to capitalize Things which ought not to be capitalized. There, I’ve said it.
I can’t help it. See, since writing isn’t talking, I use typography to communicate things (as in that portion set apart just above), and by employing the Uppercase Letter when necessary, I feel like I’m communicating something (e.g. Analogy: THIS COMMUNICATES YELLING). What exactly I’m communicating is arguable, but if I’m writing in public, then I’m writing out loud and sometimes I need a freaking Capital Letter to modulate my voice.
The Side Effect of Capitalizing Certain Troublesome Words
An interesting side effect of this tendency was that as I wrote about art, I noticed that I was consistently using “art” and “Art” as two different words, modifying their meaning permanently for myself. They became homophones. I used the former as a catch-all term: all creative output. The latter was reserved for art that had successfully gone through several stages of being for both myself (see below) as well as for the General Sphere of Art. Some might consider the “lowercase” art designation to be an insult, but I don’t think it is. Not even the Old Masters create masterpieces 100% of the time. Sometimes they just make art. Shitty shitty art. (Rembrandt’s drawings, anyone?)
Troublesome words need all the help we can give them. The 21st century has made things even harder for certain words like art/Art. We have to get more specific, while at the same time avoid constantly defining things. I think this use of uppercase letters is unobtrusive and instantly clear.
Which is why I’ve spent 500 words talking about it.
THE STAGES A WORK OF ART GOES THROUGH TO BECOME UPPERCASE
- It catches my attention
- It retains my attention
- It reappears in my attention unbidden
NB: I do not consider the previous 3 items in the list to be value judgements since in my little world, any sustained attention is a good thing