Re: Creativity [was Re: extropian enemies lists]

From: Natasha Vita-More (
Date: Sat Jan 08 2000 - 17:17:37 MST

At 09:33 PM 1/7/00 -0500, Robert wrote:

>(snip) would we consider her "creative"
>if all of her productions were recognizable variations on a similar
>theme? I'm unsure whether the evolution of her art is due to
>desire and discipline or whether it is a more natural process
>(akin to "growing").

Yes, I think so. Variations on a theme is in itself creative. Even the
slightest of variations, the most subtle nuance -- can change a perspective
and invite an entirely new interpretation. I have been making variations
on a theme for years -- *evolution.* It's perpetual. I evolve as my work
evolves as I evolve and the "tools" evolve.

>When Chagall or Monet were developing the
>impressionistic style or Erte was doing Art Deco, it was creative,
>because it had never been done before. Today we would look at artists
>doing similar work as technically adept but not particularly creative.

It is important to recognize that a "style" is not without a "concept".
Impressionism is a concept of expression based on a particular intent. The
intent was to depict a scene in painting with emphasis on use of oils in
relation to brush stroke, color and use of light, which would allow these
*elements* to have an identity, rather than the "image" dominating the
painting. (i.e., Their primary object was to achieve a spontaneous,
undetailed rendering of the world through careful representation of the
effect of natural light on objects.)

Musical impressionism "emphasized tonal color and mood rather than formal
structures such as the sonata and the symphony."

This was not entirely new, as Impressionism developed from a cumulation of
changes occurring simultaneously. Impressionism developed from variations
on a theme -- a style and concept -- whether in music or visual images.

>I would agree that desire and discipline may be useful in the communication
>and recognition aspects of expressing creativity, but I question whether they
>are required for "creativity" itself.

Creativity can be a skill acquired by desire and discipline. A well
balanced creativity is a combination of free association and manifestation.
 Otherwise, it is stuff that may, by chance, be interesting, but is more
apt to prove viable if there is some talent behind it.

>I would object strongly to the suggestion that the purpose of creativity
>is to "make things happen". Creativity occurs every time we string
>words together and may have no value other than our own entertainment.

I use creativity to make things happen which is its purpose for me as an
artist. Creativity is a mechanic of the mind, and the brain uses it to make
things happen. Our survival is in part based on our use of creativity.
That's why we don't stick our finger in the flame twice in a row. We go
*around* the fire to get what we want and such act is a product of being
creative about the circumstances.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:02:09 MDT