The Act of Creation

Posted by on August 1, 2016 1:18 pm
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Act of Creation

(Also McLuhan’s ohhboy!)

The Act of Creation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Act of Creation is a 1964 book by Arthur Koestler . It is a study of the processes of discovery , invention , imagination and creativity in humor , science , and the arts. It lays out Koestler’s attempt to develop an elaborate general theory of human creativity.

From describing and comparing many different examples of invention and discovery, Koestler concludes that they all share a common pattern which he terms “bisociation” – a blending of elements drawn from of two previously unrelated matrices of thought into a new matrix of meaning by way of a process involving comparison , abstraction and categorization , analogies and metaphors . He regards many different mental phenomena based on comparison (such as analogies, metaphors, parables , allegories , jokes , identification, role-playing, acting , personification , anthropomorphism etc.), as special cases of “bisociation”.

Koestler proposes a global theory of creative activity encompassing humor, scientific inquiry, and art. Koestler’s fundamental idea is that any creative act is a bisociation (not mere association ) of two (or more) apparently incompatible frames of thought. [2] Employing a spatial metaphor, Koestler calls such frames of thought matrices : “any ability, habit, or skill, any pattern of ordered behaviour governed by a ‘code’ of fixed rules.” [3] Koestler argues that the diverse forms of human creativity all correspond to variations of his model of bisociation.

In jokes and humor , the audience is led to expect a certain outcome compatible with a particular matrix (e.g. the narrative storyline); a punch line, however, replaces the original matrix with an alternative to comic effect. The structure of a joke, then, is essentially that of bait-and-switch. In scientific inquiry , the two matrices are fused into a new larger synthesis. [4] The recognition that two previously disconnected matrices are compatible generates the experience of eureka . Finally, in the arts and in ritual , the two matrices are held in juxtaposition to one another. Observing art is a process of experiencing this juxtaposition, with both matrices sustained.

According to Koestler, many bisociative creative breakthroughs occur after a period of intense conscious effort directed at the creative goal or problem, in a period of relaxation when rational thought is abandoned, like during dreams and trances. [5] Koestler affirms that all creatures have the capacity for creative activity, frequently suppressed by the automatic routines of thought and behavior that dominate their lives.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.  

Prometheus is reaching out for the stars with an empty grin on his face.  

The definition of the individual was: a multitude of one million divided by one million.  

The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.  

The prerequisite of originality is the art of forgetting, at the proper moment, what we know.  

The principle mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.  

The progress of science is strewn, like an ancient desert trail, with the bleached skeleton of discarded theories which once seemed to possess eternal life.  

True creativity often starts where language ends.  

“Lethem’s essay is an example of patchwriting, a way of weaving together various shards of other people’s words into a tonally cohesive whole.” from “Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age” by Kenneth Goldsmith
“The literary critic Marjorie Perloff has recently begun using the term unoriginal genius to describe this tendency emerging in literature.” from “Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age” by Kenneth Goldsmith

 

“In 1969 the conceptual artist Douglas Huebler wrote, “The world is full of objects, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more.” 1 I’ve come to embrace Huebler’s ideas, though it might be retooled as “The world is full of texts, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more.””
from “Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age” by Kenneth Goldsmith

“i had always had mixed feelings about being considered a poet if robert lowell is a poet i dont want to be a poet if robert frost was a poet i dont want to be a poet if socrates was a poet ill consider it —DAVID ANTIN” from “Uncreative Writing: Managing

Two years ago, Kenneth Goldsmith, the University of Pennsylvania poet and conceptual artist, taught a creative writing course he called “Wasting Time on the Internet.” Students would do just that, probing the tedium of the internet. But thanks to in-class use of social media, the class also became a creative ferment of improvised dance, trust experiments and inquiries into the modern nature of the self and the crowd.

NYTimes The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry  
First published in 1919 by Ezra Pound, Ernest Fenollosa’s essay on the Chinese written language has become one of the most often quoted statements in the history of American poetics. As edited by Pound, it presents a powerful conception of language that continues to shape our poetic and stylistic preferences:…
By JOE COSCARELLI July 28, 2016 “Don’t Let Me Down,” the third platinum-selling single since 2014 by the D.J. duo the Chainsmokers, has been streamed online more than half a billion times. The song’s title and singer may not be familiar — its easily hummable vocals are performed by Daya, a mostly unknown teenager from Pittsburgh. But it’s the beat, and therefore its producers, that are the stars. No longer relegated to the liner notes, digital composers in the genres of electronic dance music and hip-hop — both now firmly ensconced at pop music’s center — often take top billing on their tracks, even if the featured guest is Justin Bieber. So even in this moment of dominant solo idols — Beyoncé, Drake, Rihanna — there exists a less instantly recognizable realm of rising studio superstars that have leapt from the depths of SoundCloud or the E.D.M. heap into the upper echelon of influence, dominating radio play and landing high-profile festival appearances. Acts like the Chainsmokers, along with Diplo, Disclosure, Calvin Harris and even the rap figurehead DJ Khaled have proven reliable hitmakers as lead artists, frequently employing their industry friends to carry the tune while laboring in partial obscurity. Benefiting from the cross-pollination of regions and genres, these collaborations can introduce the featured artists to new audiences, with rappers and crooners crossing over among dance-pop aficionados. But the producers are pulling the strings and rightly taking much of the credit. “As soon as someone like David Guetta said ‘This is my song,’ more producers wanted to be known beyond insider music circles,” said Sharon Dastur, senior vice president for programming at the pop-radio giant iHeartMedia. And because many of the producers perform internationally as D.J.’s, “they see what that next up-and-coming beat or sound or instrument is and they incorporate it into songs that become huge pop hits, cutting through by being more unique.”
For a long time, biologists thought evolution was a very, very slow process, too tardy to be observed in a human lifetime. But recently, we have come to understand that evolution canhappen very quickly, as long as natural selection — the relative benefit that a particular characteristic bestows on its bearer — is strong.

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Remix, Reality Hunger and Further Explorations by Ben Zheng

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