A convention is a social pattern we have chosen to prefer over whatever the raw world simply proffers. It is a sign of the operation of the mind, drawing the assent of a sufficient number of other minds so that the agreement will be widely operative. A convention is not a custom; a custom is a habit in which a sufficient number acquiesce. A custom can appear as a convention, but it is really a lesser act, the result of passive acceptance rather than of the imposition of design. It is the difference between learning to live by the annual flooding of the river or by a calendar.
I didn’t want a completely passive viewer. Art means too much to me. To be able to articulate something visually is really an important thing. I wanted to make work where the viewer wouldn’t walk away; he would giggle nervously, get pulled into history, into fiction, into something totally demeaning and possibly very beautiful
To continue to condemn only brings condemnation, then, for self. This does not mean that self's activity should be passive, but rather being constant in prayer-knowing and taking, knowing and understanding that he that is faithful is not given a burden beyond that he is able to bear. . .
During the 1960s, large groups of people who are normally passive and apathetic began to try to enter the political arena to press their demands. . . . The naive might call that democracy, but that's because they don't understand. The sophisticated understand that that's the crisis of democracy.
You don't fully understand the meaning of a work until the audience responds to it. Because the audience completes the circle, and adds a whole other shade of meaning. Whenever you view something, and this is why great works of art survive decades and centuries, is because there's a door within the work that allows the audience to walk through and complete the meaning of the work. An audience isn't passive, nor are they unintelligent.
You can't change your life. This mode in literature goes against the more middle-brown mode, which is about shaping your destiny, changing it. You can't change it, you just become passive in front of it. Even if we live in a godless universe, there are paths set, there are trajectories, like bumper cars just pulling those trajectories, colliding.