Arizona Daily Wildcat
Solar Culture owner discusses gallery, music, Tucson
Local sculptor and Solar Culture mastermind Steven Eye has a long history of involvement with art and music, stretching back to his days as a punk show promoter in the early 1980s. Eye recently spoke with a Wildcat reporter about music, Tucson and the concept of the Solar Culture performance art gallery.
Wildcat: Why is live music so important?
Eye: In this day and age when there's so much madness going on in the world, people are not sure which way to turn or what to do with their lives. When they see music - someone up there on the stage performing - they feel this ecstatic energy that makes their heart stop beating a mark and they become breathless. It's like "Ah, now I remember!" It's that ecstatic energy that's missing in our lives: the energy of caring, of creating, of being, and that's why it's such a necessary thing for people to be exposed to it, to have that in their lives.
WC: What is your vision for Solar Culture? What is the concept behind it?
Eye: When people see an ecstatic event or experience something inspirational in their lives, they're not part of the dominant culture of the consumer, where they're just taking, taking, taking. The idea here is for people to feel safe enough that they can give something out also. The beauty of life and the life force is that it's an evolving spectrum, where you're not just taking stuff in, you're learning and growing. Part of that learning and growing is sharing. The ideal is to try and inspire people so they too will feel inspired - to pick up a paintbrush or a sculpting tool or a pencil to write a poem or a guitar to play or drums or whatever.
In the punk era it was all about pointing a finger and saying "You suck! The reason everything is screwed up is because of you!" Now what we're doing is creating our own culture. We're going to create what works. If a bar that's full of smoke and people selling overpriced alcohol does not work, then we have to come up with a new space... we're recreating the concept of the venue so it works for people and their need as natural humans to grow.
WC: How do you see the state of things here in Tucson?
Eye: What's happening here in Tucson is what's happening around the country and the world. There's a lot of discontent, a lot of people on the edge of madness, a lot of people misunderstanding their relationship with the universe. What we're trying to do is open up opportunities for people to look within themselves, and empower themselves, and find out why they're really here - what it is they're here to learn.