The Rotten Lemon of Enlightenment


Presentations = way too much stress :S

What a crazy day its been today!

For the first time in a month I arrived early to a lecture with time to spare. Even arriving before my good friend Franco, though I am not sure if he was genuinely surprised or resented me for making him look late. Then again it could have had something to do with my continuous gloating and declaration that he shouldn’t have even bothered to come in this morning. After about ten minutes of relentless badgering Franco was rescued as Erin Coates began her lecture.

I had been looking forward to this lecture since seeing the unit schedule for the first time. Mostly because it was specific to my area of expertise; the Visual Arts. Erin Coates’s lecture Visual Arts and Creativity was a great insight into her work but more importantly her creative process. I’ll also point out that I really liked her art and will be heading down to the Fremantle Arts Centre to check out the Chinese Video Art exhibition she is involved in.

As the theories and ideas of the creative process start to sink in it was great to be able to not only see them in Erin’s practice but to start to understand why they work. My notes during the lecture started to shift from documenting the presentation itself to focus on the elements she draws upon from the theories we have been learning. Here are some of the examples Coates, E (2011) gave;

  • …every experience shapes you…
  • …be resourceful…
  • …try something new. try new mediums…
  • …draw all the time…
  • …record what you are thinking…
  • …be a collector of information…
  • …avid researcher…
  • …passionate, rigorous…

I felt these statements really fit in strongly with the idea that the creative mind is always collecting and cataloging information for later reference. For me this cuts to the very core of creativity and something that should be nurtured. This revelation just isn’t specific to this lecture but more the cumulation of the last three.

With the lecture over I would generally continue bugging Franco but today was different…we had our presentation!

Formal presentations have always terrified me. I can get up and talk about my artwork or man a booth at an oil conference no worries but the moment it becomes a structured, formal presentation the wheels fall off. Following those set points one after the other doesn’t feel natural, especially when thinking about the next point. It always messes up your train of though as you try in vain to get the current point across. I really struggle if I have to keep it linear. Maybe my understanding that a formal presentation has to be smooth and linear is unrealistic. Or I worry about the overall message of the presentation and not let the points do the talking. The fear that it won’t run smoothly or the pressure not to let your group members down. What I do know is when I sat down again it was like walking out of my last TEE exam. The relief was so great I have been in the best mood all night. Which is crazy considering I have been stressed all week over reading three pages in front of sixteen people for about five minutes. The worst part being I would have probably done a runner if I wasn’t in a group! The mind is an amazing thing!

Thank god it’s friday and I won’t be doing that again for a very long time…I hope!

References

Coates, E. (2011). Visual Arts and Creativity
Download .pdf

haunted-house. (n.d) In Google Images [Digital image]. Retrieved April 8, 2011, from; http://segmentnext.com/wp-content/uploads/haunted-house.jpg

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Spoors vs Religon

This week’s lecture by Dr Glen Spoors on Mythopoesis was…well…different. Like his last lecture the rate of information being thrown at you was quite overbearing but at the same time extremely interesting. I found myself constantly drifting away from the presented material and fixating on Spoors’s rather odd childhood understanding of the world. He was basically left to discover and figure out the world himself with very little outside guidance. With an extremely active imagination even by a child’s standards is it really any wonder that he came up with a very fantastical world view?

Spoors, G (2011) stated on several occasions that his family wasn’t religious and was I assume, brought up without the teachings of any religion. I find this of particular interest as while I do not believe in any religion I was brought up on christian beliefs. Would Spoors’s world understanding been different if he had been brought up with a religious background? I have always been of the belief that religions are more trouble than they are worth but for the first time I began to wonder and challenge that idea. Religions basically help people understand their purpose, place, how the world functions and even how it came about. Which is exactly what Spoors seemed to be missing and compensating for. Without these stories to explain the world he simply came up with his own. Not all of which turned out to be healthy. At the time however they made sense and helped him deal with the complexities of life. So would Spoor’s childhood been any different if religion was involved? Let’s face it Religion is a lot more interesting to a child with Gods and superpowers than science and monkeys! It is also in a nice little package. I one stop shop so to speak.

This is all very speculative and just my opinion but it did keep me thinking well after the lecture had finished.

Would be really interesting to hear others thoughts on the subject.

References

Spoors, G (2011). Glen Spoors – Mythopoesis
https://jmdirstein.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/week_5_mythopoesis.pdf

Religion-The-Creation-of-Man. (n.d) In Google Images [Digital image]. Retrieved April 6, 2011, from; http://religion.lilithezine.com/images/Religion-The-Creation-of-Man.jpg



Photomedia and the Creative Personality

sleeping

Who said being a student was easy!

 

This week’s lecture by Juha Tolonen entitled Photomedia was in one word… bad. I guess it was inevitable when considering the quality of the last two lectures that something had to give. Last semester I did CMM1108 and Jung. J (2010) gave some very good advice in regard to presentations; “You’ll be lucky if the audience remembers one thing from your presentation”. This advice really helps the presenter focus their presentation and really emphasises the need for clear points. Juha’s had neither. I found myself wondering the entire time where is this going and more importantly what did he want me to take away from it? So much so when we were asked if we had any questions at the end I was tempted to ask that very question. I chose not to because I didn’t want to come across as being a smart ass or embarrass Juha as that wasn’t my intention. It was obvious he struggled with today’s lecture so there was no need to remind him of that in front of a hundred or so students. What I would have liked to see was more of his creative process and how it applied to his work. Much like a case study he could have taken us through a body of work from idea/concept to final works or exhibition. That’s assuming he was aware of his creative process in the first place which doesn’t always seem to be the case with creative types. With a clear focus I think Juha could really turn this presentation into something special but as is it was a bit of a disaster!

References

Jung. J (2010) CMM1108 – Communication and Digital Technology

Tolonen, J. (2011) Photomedia
https://jmdirstein.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/juha_tolonenlq.pdf

sleeping. (n.d) In Google Images [Digital image]. Retrieved March 25, 2011, from; http://www.lalalalaurenlikes.blogspot.com/



Personal Creative Process after thought…

This post follows on from Personal Creative Process.

I know it’s late but if I can’t sleep and I’m in bed my mind goes into overdrive. I often go to bed during the day just to replicate the effect if I’m working on a creative project. It’s been a pretty enlightening couple of days for me as I’ve been able to see over and over again how spot on Harman, J. (2011)’s five rules of creativity are when compared to my own creative process.

If I had known how my creative process and mind worked in high school I might just have enjoyed my English classes. Much to mine and my teachers frustration I barely passed English tests, in class essays and exams yet would more often than not top the class or even the year with my home written assignments. I remember constantly being asked why I couldn’t even capture a small amount of that success. It was very frustrating for all involved and I found it quite disheartening because I didn’t have an answer. What makes sense now was that the tests, in class essays and exams turned my creative process upside down then shuffled it a couple of times and removed a couple of key stages entirely. No wonder I almost failed every year! That right there is a very profound revelation. Though it doesn’t explain my terrible spelling…maybe next weeks lecture will explain that. I wonder if I can claim this unit as therapy with my private health insurance?

So John if are reading this thank you.

Actually, Mark I know your reading this not because you have to… well actually it probably is because you have to but that’s besides the point. If you could pass the message on it would be much appreciated.

References

Harman, J. (2011) Personal Creative Process: John Harman. http://sandbox.ea.ecu.edu.au/staffuse/mtmcmaho/CCA1103/CCA1103L3/index.html



Personal Creative Process

This week’s lecture was by John Harman and entitled “Personal Creative Process”. It’s style, pace and content was quite different from last weeks and to be honest I was a little skeptical. Maybe it was the fact John was older, from the UK and with what appeared to be a very dated PowerPoint presentation. The title page looked much like the blue screen and white text of a computer screen that has just shat itself. I could see the lecture room transform before my very eyes into a private library with floor to ceiling bookcases and a roaring fire. John sitting on an oversized wing backed chair stoking his pipe with a huge dog even by great dane standards between him and the fire-place.

library-books-leather-chair-study-office-interior-design-home-ideas1

Private library for illustrative purposes

I’m having enough trouble staying awake thankyou very much the last thing I need right now is a lecture that’s going to knock me out quicker than a couple of zanax! Why did i get out of bed…bed would be awesome…those soft…pillows…matress… Then John began the lecture the vision faded and it was back to reality.

Much like last weeks lecture this week’s turned out to be quite enjoyable after my initial doubts faded. I must also point out that none of my first impressions were in any way John’s fault but in fact me falling victim to an over active imagination!

What I really liked about Harman, J. (2011)’s lecture was his 5 rules of creativity.

  1. Preparation – Be a sponge. Take in as much information as you can. Read, listen, watch and learn. Be a general knowledge quiz night king! Know your domain/area of expertise in side and out. Make it your life because it will be how you make a living.
  2. Concentration – Be single-minded in your focus.
  3. Incubation – Walk away. Take a break. Meditate and relax.
  4. Illumination – Often comes during the incubation period when you are relaxed and can let your mind wander.
  5. Verification – Breakthrough. Get it down quickly before idea fades!

He basically described my creative process which before now was somewhat unknown to me. I was strongly aware of the preparation and incubation rules/elements but the rest were still undefined in my mind. So for an old boy from the UK with a dated presentation John did alright and helped me learn a little more about myself and my creative processes. Who’d have thought someone who has enjoyed such a successful life would know what they were talking about! Kids today they have no god damn respect!

Extra points go to Harman, J. (2011) for using his real life experiences to illustrate points taking them out of the realm of academia and into reality. Also of importance was his advice to entertain all ideas and if you ever find yourself in “the zone” keep going. You’ll crash eventually but when your hot you’ll melt faces with your awesomeness better than Charlie Sheen ever could! Plus it would be constructive and not a drug induced delussion…so maybe not the best example. I should probably have thought that through a little better but alas I don’t have tiger blood pumping through my veins. I’m only human!

In all seriousness it was a great lecture from a great guy! Come to think of it he made last weeks lecturer Dr Chris Spoors seem a little too slick. Like saw dust in the transmission slick!

Additional thoughts and reflections on this lecture can be found Personal Creative Process after thought…

References

Harman, J. (2011) Personal Creative Process: John Harman. http://sandbox.ea.ecu.edu.au/staffuse/mtmcmaho/CCA1103/CCA1103L3/index.html

library-books-leather-chair-study-office-interior-design-home-ideas1. (n.d) In Google Images [Digital image]. Retrieved March 19, 2011, from;http://eclecticrevisited.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/library-books-leather-chair-study-office-interior-design-home-ideas1.jpg?w=350&h=483

Shmevey. (2010). I am on a drug, it’s called Charlie Sheen! . Retrieved Mar 19, 2011 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrPZY55mX2c



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