Myself. Hmm. Not to brag, but I am unique. You are too. I occupy my own place, my own time, and have learned my own truth--though I'm still working on that truth part. Maybe you are doing better on those than I, or maybe time, place and truth contemplation gives you a headache.
I sculpt (. . .therefore I am) and I insistently seek my personal self-sound, my truth. Starting out, I tried everyone else's sound--Michelangelo, Rodin, Giacometti. . .because I was just learning the scales. Might as well try to sound like someone good.
A funny thing about making art. However good a copier you are--there is a chunk of "you" in your copies. With more time, more you. Until you find yourself faced with--you, all you, and you understand what Miles was talking about.
My time. My place. My truth. My little dot on sculpture's timeline is amazingly complex. Michelangelo could draw on religious allegories everyone understood while using sculpture materials and techniques everyone knew about. Same with Rodin. His allegories appeared in Dante's "Inferno" and all the techniques he used had been taught in school for centuries.
My "time" is complicated. Yours too. While my forebears had a rich institutional encyclopedia of agreed-on concepts, views and metaphors, my "time" is both disappointed in, and rebelling against, institutions. Old ways are being challenged and people are dividing on issues and dividing again and dividing again into splinters which can't even agree on a set of facts to argue over. Institutions become just part of the argument, not part of the answer.
Technology in my "time" has given me abilities never dreamed of by the ancients. Form, calculation, execution--all new. All are waiting to be explored and all are sitting ducks for the next technology and methods to disrupt them. Writing on cave walls was disrupted too, but it took 30,000 years.
As a result, sculptors have changed from "singing to the flock" to "make your own kind of music." And, while Mama Cass was right about individuality, I have to reject self-centered narcissistic art.
My focus remains on my greater posse. What can I say--without words, mind you--that will resonate with you and our world? I don't care to preach, just to evoke. But I consider it my duty as a sculptor to make art of my time, place and truth. To add my block to the cathedral of understanding, as best I can .