Re: Creativity [was Re: extropian enemies lists]

Date: Sat Jan 08 2000 - 15:14:48 MST

Robert I want to thank you for a very well thought out post. If I am
understanding you correctly, you have hit upon an important topic relative to
creativity, though I'd substitute the word "variance" - or possibly
"divergence" for inconsistency. However in your post you make some other
assertions about creativity that I'd like to attempt to correct.

 There are several issues you put forth.
    You say - << I would object strongly to the suggestion that the purpose
of creativity is to "make things happen." Creativity occurs every time we
 words together and may have no value other than our own entertainment.

Is art and "work" (whatever discipline one prefers to refer to) exclusively
for others' recognition? Is it created for validation & results? Can't it be
simply for one's own enjoyment? Can't I paint a masterpeice, let no one see
it, and throw it in the trash - for my own self amusement, and still be
creating? You seem to assert that it is not valid until it receives outside
recognition. This may be the way academia works - work is not valid until
published or reviewed, and how business of art is done, but it does not cover
the spectrum of creativity across mediums.

2) Process vs. Product. (Or: ideas vs. realization)
you say:
  << Returning to Natasha's Art
 (hoping she doesn't mind this), 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"). >>
First I'd like to ask you, have you visited her online art gallery? Did you
ask her whether her art requires intense discipline? Have you seen the
"variations on a theme" that is the DNA breakout series? You are talking to a
diehard fan of her art, BTW.
You first make assertions that creativity requires communication and
recognition, and perhaps even having an impact of some sort on an outside
"audience." Then you (inconsistently ; - ) imply that the nature of art is a
natural outpouring, or growth. Is this really true? What are your sources for
this assertion?

3) CARDINALITY or Originality:
In my opinion, Novelty is highly overrated.
You assert that a work is not creative unless it is "new" - even that it
isn't creative to conceive and execute similar variations on a theme. Is this
realistic? As an artist I cannot say that I have ever done anything truly
original, yet each of my own pieces is unlike anything before. I believe we
build on foundations, and improve and rearrange things in new ways. Music
that is utterly new would be cacophonous. The truly new would be unfamiliar
and unrecognizable and hence cognitively boring. This is a totally unrelated
thread, but a very key aspect of futurism: Are we to create a totally new
paradigm, or are we wiser to build on certain patterns we have already
established. The unfamiliarity of all things is inherent in the concept of
Singularity (and I admit I am not a Singulatarian by any means!!) If things
are to be pleasing to our aesthetics, and rational in nature, should we not
keep what works and build upon it, rather than throwing away all concepts in
search of originality?

And finally
4) COGNITIVE PROCESS the creative mind works, in respect to being able to create and hold
a variety of concepts, mixing them in new ways, without being bound by
tradition - and the relating label of "inconsistency." I see your point here,
and I agree, variance and flexibility can combine/juxtapose more freely. Aaha!

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