Life into art: taking what you find, a smokestack or a button, and finding what is abstract in it, and thereby transmuting it into art. Miller, of course, the great example. Even in a button you can find the stuff of life. The essence of life is perspective, and where there is narrowing of vision there is a depletion of life. Every time life is transformed into art, a new perspective is created, and life is enriched and enhanced.
Art into life: Taking what is already an abstraction of life, and relating is back to what you “know”. “Know” in the narrow sense of bumping into it in everyday life. This can be a frivolous direction to go in, taking what is full of thought and meaning and reducing it to the ordinary. A sign of someone no longer interested in art, who can only find enjoyment in a book or a painting if it relates directly to themselves in some way. It doesn’t have to be as trivial as recognising a lover’s face in a painting by an old master. Perhaps, full of serious purpose, you just want to put the work of art in its place, and remind it that it’s just a painting after all. When you write about it draw attention to the viewer, the back of your head before the painting, the latter being now just another object in your life. Or picture yourself in your study with a classic work of literature. (“Lie quiet Divus …”) Serious work can come out of this, and Pound is still a more widely respected writer than Miller.