The Rotten Lemon of Enlightenment


History of Creativity

Last weeks lecture was entitled “Creativity: A Historical Overview” and presented by Glen Spoors. Despite the early starting time and taking my seat mere seconds before the lecture began I was hooked instantly. A lot of information was covered in the short hour and was thoroughly engaging. It will be a tough act to follow! I have attached the download of the lecture made available by the SCA website in the references for this post.

“Creativity: A Historical Overview” is a lecture you really don’t appreciate until several days after it was given. You know it’s good and there was great information within but due to the vast amount of information and the early hour you stagger out wondering what just happened. Kind of like a heavy night out on the drink and waking up the next morning trying to remember if that was the best night of your life or that you had in fact been violated in some way… It’s not until after the emotional rollercoaster of trying to process all that information you realise how profound it was. An odd combination of relief that some of that information stuck (you hadn’t been violated) and the satisfaction that it added to your understanding of the world around you (it was the greatest night of your life and you have photos to prove it!).

There was a particular moment for me this week when I felt the slap of understanding as the information began to settled and find its place. It came while reading Franco’s post “Creative Schmative – Why is creativity important?“. I always find it amazing how subjective we are as human beings and the vast amounts of simular and more often than not completely different meanings we generate from the same situation. So why should creativity be any different? Spoors, G. (2011) illustrates this in his lecture through the various stages of human history and the art from these periods. What is of particular interest however is the ever changing driving forces behind the art and its effects on what it is to be considered creative. From the organic and primal sculptures of the statues of “Venus” which have been found all over the world to the precise and mathmatical representations of the human form in Ancient Egypt.

The Venus of Willendorf

The Venus of Willendorf is a statue of the female form. Simular statues have been found all over the world suggesting all primitive humans shared simular cultural values.

Egyptian Art - Ramses I - Egyptian/Mythology

The Eygptian representation of the human form remained the same for over 3000 years and was based on a grid system.

Both represent the ideals and values of their respective cultures at the time they were created. One could argue creativity is therefore subjective by nature and ultimately being defined by the context of the age. Today it is being shaped by our technology based and consumer obsessed society. When pop culture rules and everyone is looking for the next new and exciting fad creativity is just doing what it has always done. Representing the driving forces behind the culture of the time.

What it is to be creative in 100 years time is anyone guess…

References

Spoors,G. (2011) Creativity:An Historical Overview. Download here cca1103_week_2_lecture

willendorf-large. (n.d) In Bing Images [Digital image]. Retrieved March 15, 2011, from; http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=venus&view=detail&id=E006F95AD06B3FB724BA4EC3ED5D7BE3C2124059&first=61&FORM=IDFRIR&qpvt=venus

egyptian_art_ramses_i. (n.d) In Bing Images [Digital image]. Retrieved March 15, 2011, from; http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=egyptian+art&view=detail&id=8E6A97065E5BA359B543242FE723EF2B2923C6A3&first=1&FORM=IDFRIR

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2 Comments so far
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Hi Jason, just read your blog History of creativity and thought it not only well written and insightfull of your state of mind- glad to see you have one-but thoroughly entertaining and humorous. A lovely personal touch with the day of the lecture and getting there at all. Your thoughts on the subjective nature of creativity and context of the age it is produced in is totally correct in my viewpoint.I have certainly learnt how to blog another way thanks to you. The images, layout and style of formatting leaves me somewhat envious and in need of updating my computer skills- cheers for that.

Comment by bottegafranco

Thanks Franco glad you enjoyed it. I think it’s important to keep it a relatively light read. It’s more about expressing your ideas and their evolution than getting bogged down on formality.

I was reading your post and it hit me that creativity is very much like how we as individuals interpret the world. All you have to do is swap “individuals” with “society” and “the world” with “their values”. To be creative is to represent society’s values.

I’ll help you with the technical aspects of blogging on friday. I found it a bit overwhelming to start with too. Fear not you’ll be a wiz in no time!

Comment by jmdirstein




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