Speak Lord, Your Servant Is Listening
▲ Description of the work: Laurie Anderson, 1978, a mixed media, appreciation available at https://vimeo.com/19207943

Share This Post

Issue No. 261 / Views in Art

In the 1960s to 1980s were a period of major global change. Postmodernist culture has spread focusing on Europe and America, and new challenges have followed in art too. The biggest change would be the use of electronic media. Later, works using electronic devices as such were called “Media Art.” Among the early media art, Laurie Anderson’s ‘Handphone Table’ is a fairly famous work in modern art history. Once Anderson’s work is not explained in advance, it is difficult to know its true value. This is because the art looks like an empty table placed alone in the exhibition hall. Nothing remarkably stands out, but what does the artist wants audience to appreciate and feel? This will be resolved as soon as the audience follow the Anderson’s manual. The manual says the audience should sit in front of the table, place their elbows in a small circle engraved on the table, and wrap their ears with their hands. They just have to do it as it is written. Although invisible, sound is clearly generated through the machine under the table, and this sound is delivered to the audience who is sitting quietly with their elbows on. Anyone can hear the sound if they follow the manual.

On the contrary, it is difficult to listen to the voice of the Lord if we are biased to cry out only our demands and claims. In addition, there is a risk of being arrogant to dare to manipulate God as we want. However, in the Bible, many people heard God’s voice directly or indirectly. Self-restriction that God will only speak to special people hinders our deep and intimate relationship with God. If one has personal encounter with God, interactive dialogues and fellowships are natural. The problem, however, is that we are not ready to listen. It is the case of giving up beforehand because we think it is impossible, or not even trying because we do not know. It is time to change the insipid and dry habitual prayer recited like a long habit.

Let’s stop asking God unilaterally or keep insisting ‘my’ will. Small obedience is needed to hear the voice of God, who is clearly speaking even if he is invisible. It is to read the Words, quietly focus on the Lord, and prepare in order to listen.

“Speak. For Your servant is listening!”
May we be obedient in the New Year to the voice of the Lord. [GNP Media]

Art Critic Sang-yoon Lee

<Copyright ⓒ The GPM that opens the world with the truth, the kingdom of God in my hand. Please indicate the source for your use.> For information and inquiries: gnpnews@gnmedia.org

More To Explore