I’m not interested in the romanticised version of people, but what they actually are,” she explains, selecting her words with the careful precision of a bibliophile scanning across the shelves of a piled-high second-hand book shop. “Not because that’s all dark, but because it’s a lot of things. It’s generous and empathetic, and it’s also vile and crass. We’re all these conflicting things melted into one. I feel like a student of human nature. I like to explore what it actually is, because that’s more interesting than rainbows and butterflies.
There’s little doubt that “do what you love” (DWYL) is now the unofficial work mantra for our time. The problem is that it leads not to salvation, but to the devaluation of actual work, including the very work it pretends to elevate — and more importantly, the dehumanization of the vast majority of laborers.
'Each piece is a rhythmical series of breaths, and then it's a bringing together of spaces, of pauses,' explains de Waal of his highly iterative process, which always begins at the potter's wheel in his London studio. 'And then the spacing of one and another and another and another, and making sense of something through repetition.'
The song will be what it wants to be,” she said in response to the theme question, and I can’t tell you how much this sounded like a quote from any of the hundreds of athletes I’ve spoken with who come up a little short when asked to verbalize what’s happening in their heads at the time of performance. This is the eternal conflict between artist/athlete and journalist—the thick, unbreachable wall. Because while we want an explanation for what’s happening, they have trained themselves to turn the vocalizing part of their brains off in service of reaching that higher plateau. They know how to get out of their own way. And in essence, we’re saying to them, “explain to me what happened on those inexplicable heights…tell me everything that went through your mind while you were hypnotized…describe the indescribable…” “The simple answer,” Clark said, “is that I don’t know how things eventually come together. I just know that there’s something else at play that isn’t about a brain. It isn’t about the critical brain, and it is about instinct that comes into play when making music, and the more I’ve followed instinct instead of logic, the better off I’ve been as an artist.