I’m not sure when it happened. Not even sure it has. Perhaps it was something that had happened a long time ago, and the transformation took place slowly. I only know that I cry far more frequently these days, and with less provocation.
I think it was the recognition that I had to, had no choice but to; to make a commitment to the real power of the poetic. That I actually believed that art had the power to change people, and that the change took place involuntarily—often in subtle yet continuous increments, like the accretion of dust on a table top.
It would take a very long list of artists, musicians, poets, and dancers, and an even longer list of works to be more specific, and I think that would be beside the point. For me, there was no “eureka” moment, just the slowly blurring boundaries that used to keep things unnecessarily isolated, and kept me far too insulated.
David Ross is the Chair of the MFA in Art Practice program at the School of Visual Arts.