Thursday, 26 February 2009

Know anyone who forgot how to be the artist they used to be?

Can a designed experience or environment be a catalyst for imagination, visual awareness and creative processes in people who are seeking to re-connect with their creativity, curiosity and sensual awareness?

Is it possible to provoke responses of creativity and curiosity through design?

I will…
Build a website which awakens curiosity and creativity by proposing stimulating creative provocations for participants to select, take up and interpret in any chosen media, returning to the site to share the results, compare, and receive real-time feedback. The small tasks – unrelated or tangental to any particular project or artistic discipline, may include suggestions which harness a number of ruses to minimise fear and inaction in the participant, be they irreverent, disarmingly simple, without context, speculative, subversive, trivial, humorous, sentimental, or observational. This will take the form of “provoke” and “react” in a community settling where participants can contribute, comment, and counter the provocations I pose with their own visual responses and provocations, in a dynamic and visually stimulating way.

I will test the engagement with the provocations, and modify the design of the environment accordingly to create an environment designed to reconnect the participants with their own personal creative passions and as a catalyst for concept iteration and exploration. My investigation will incorporate action research techniques; I will intervene to amend the design of the environment informed by group dynamics and the resultant creative reactions.

At times idea taking precedence over execution may be strongly inferred in the provocation, to circumvent the perfectionist inclinations in participants who may stall or procrastinate by allowing technique to block the free flow of ideas. At other times, the participant will be asked to retrieve visual, textual or thematic cues from the wider environment, and interpret them for insertion into the site; widening the scope for inspiration through arbitrarily prescribed viewpoint, framework through task, and motivation through public display and reaction to the resultant work. Other participants may be motivated or inspired by the reactions of others.

My chief motivation will be to instigate creative play, outside of the pressures to achieve external artistic goals, presupposing that uninhibited play in a discretely guided environment can generate a quantity of work in various media with self-censorship suppressed by the brief, unpretentious nature of the provocations. Inherent to each provocation will be one or more specific, but concealed, creative possibilities designed to motivate, inspire and energise the participant through further personal exploration.

I will explore in my writing the journey made between ideation of the provocations, and the supposed outcomes, and how this in turn shapes the provocations. In most cases, I will be travelling forward into the creative position, to anticipate possible reactions and engagements with the task, returning to re-shape the provocation and pose it publically. I want to reflect on the shaping of the provocations via this personal journey back and forth between Question (thought) and Result (action).

I will seek to create an engaging, unique space in the design of the site, responding to the visual presentation of each provocation and responses as appropriate, so that explanation and framework is present only to explain the workings of the site, and the designed space hosting the collected work results in a dynamic, collaborative web based artwork. As with each provocation, the general visual tone of the site, will be designed to describe a creative, energetic, free space.

Seemingly unrelated tasks will provoke quick reaction, free of pressure, and create the environment for ideas to flow. Without expectations about the form the resulting reaction to the provocation will take, participants may feel liberated to indulge exploration and creative play, inspiring their personal work in the process.

I anticipate that participants will approach and subside from the project as it fills their needs.

My contextual concerns are the various artist motivation platforms, in print and on the web– each effective and limited in the way the participant can engage with the process.

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