He Never Would Have Made A Single Mark

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NATHAN: You know this guy, right?

CALEB: Jackson Pollock.

NATHAN: Jackson Pollock. The drip painter. He let his mind go blank, and his hand go where it wanted. Not deliberate, not random. Someplace in between. They called it automatic art.

Nathan gazes at the canvas. 

NATHAN: Let’s make this like Star Trek, okay? Engage intellect.

CALEB: What?

NATHAN: I’m Kirk. Your head is the warp drive. ‘Engage intellect’. What if Pollock had reversed the challenge? Instead of trying to make art without thinking, he said: I can’t paint anything unless I know exactly why I’m doing it. What would have happened?

Caleb thinks. 

CALEB: He never would have made a single mark.

Nathan clicks his fingers.

NATHAN: See? There’s my guy. There’s my buddy, who actually thinks before he opens his mouth. He’d never have made a single mark. The challenge is not to act automatically. It’s to find an action that is not automatic. From talking, to breathing, to painting.

Nathan glances back at Caleb. 

NATHAN: To fucking. Even falling in love.

[From Ex Machina via A24/Amazon Video]