Monday, 2 March 2009

Mapping the Terrain – Contextual Concerns

There's more than the below - I just need to blow it open in a brain-stormy way, and continue to try to think of even more contextual angles, just so that I can be sure I'm seeing this topic with some clarity and ensure I'm not missing anything. This would be the beginnings of a world view, to be followed by a national view (proposal) and street view (question). I'm working backwards in a way, because I know the question, but need to figure out what has been achieved by others - what is being done now?

Interactivity and Connectivity
Comments and file sharing – what makes for the most fluid and inviting collaboration? What inspires users to upload and share? Explore exclusionary limitations and the web community; ie. Metafilter.
Compare with the didactic auteur – genred blogs

The Blocked Artist
Investigating creativity productivity and inspiration – what, if any, is the benefit of just putting pen to paper? What, if any, is the benefit of a tangental or unrelated task to creative inspiration? Explore both the generation of work, and the collection and sharing of environmental stimuli.

The Web and Creative Collaboration
Learning to Love You More, Post Secret, Found!, Flickr, Tumblr, Twitter, Etsy. There’s sure to be more

Dynamic Interfaces
Looking at Exactitudes, Visual Complexity, Etsy, Flickr, Facebook groups, blogs. Flash sites… exploring the most interesting web sites and their approach.

Curiosity and Creativity
The Artist’s Way, craft blogs, IKEA hack ... there's gotta be more. Just need to think harder about this.

Aspects of Engagement in other Media and Fine Arts
The inspiration of the Sydney Biennale works, perhaps imagining ways that collaborative web work can become public work, either anonymously in Guerilla Art form, or as a kind of event. Stephanie Posavec's Writing Without Words

Oh hey... and do all this while not losing the intent or charm in the fog of broader context. I want to try an remember the source of this concept always, otherwise this is going to evolve into a mechanical beast, crushing me with it's giant pincer claws, it's red eyes flashing...


nsh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nsh said...

Can you give any examples of forums falling into the 'didactic auteur' genre? I get a vague sense of what you're improvacatagorising here, but I'm curious to delve a little deeper.

nsh said...

Some food for thought:

Also definitely worth reading if you haven't already is Bob Black's (in)famous essay "The Abolition of Work".

It seems to me that there is an deep implicit interdependency of creativity with spontaneity. Here of course we meet with the (seeming) paradox that an essential ingredient of creative liberation -- that is, the making explicate of implicit possibilities) is the presence of constraint.

One might argue that there is a symbiotic relationship between the restriction of possibilities imposed by constraining factors and creation of possibilities engendered in their thwarting.

The liberation alluded to earlier is tangible in the feeling of delight which accompanies the discovery of implicate order that allows conformance to the explicate ruleset: a chess player's realisation of a move sequence that undoes a complex stack of piece-pinnings; a rapper that finds a playful subversion of grammatical form which fits a notion into a constrained rhyme-scheme and meter; a painter that discovers a fresh habitat of harmony behind a restrictive arrangement imposition.

So arises the theoretical notion of creativity as the result coupling between
(a) the topological operator of ruleset (in varying degrees of explicitness) that draws together (in an highly fecund manner) portions of an initially flat and homogeneous landscape of possibilities
(b) the 'free energy' that drive the spontaneity of creative reactions between agents on this landscape, whereby the activation energy of searching (for the most part unconsciously) the topologically non-trivial space is compensated by the "well-fittingness" of the final conformation arrived at, and the concomitant pleasure.


Anonymous said...

Lauri, are you some kind of genius? I would be hard-pressed to source that kind of insightful feedback anywhere, and I'm really grateful for your thoughts.

Stigmergy completely blew my mind. I may use it as an illustrative framework... thinking, thinking, thinking. That random complexity in nature - perhaps there is a way to harness this in a visual language which will make the use of the site and the site's appearance more intuitive.

When I say 'didactic auteur' I refer to the type of blog where a single person has created an educational culture around a chosen meme - be it food, fashion, technology. What these sites tend to create is a tone, where the user wants to buy into the culture created by the auteur, such as in the case of The Sartorialist. The illusion of interaction exists in commenting, but it's limited in scope.

The constraining factor you mentioned is crucial in my work. It has the same effect as scrunching up or sullying a sheet of paper before drawing on it - it breaks the meniscus, and relieves the pressure for the next move to be perfect. It's my contention that artists are mainly frozen into inactivity by perfectionism. If you propose an absurd task, the user approaches it with a shrug of the shoulders and a relaxed attitude which can only really help get the creative processes into motion again.

Heather was right. You're brilliant. Thanks for contributing.


nsh said...

You might like this too:

Will reply to your last post when in less of a hurry.