The Rotten Lemon of Enlightenment


Creativity in my workplace

As much as I would love to study full-time the realities of life make this impossible. So when I’m not at university chasing my dream to be a visual artist I’m in an office processing masses of data and making maps for the oil industry. Which brings me to this awesome software we have helped test and develop for its creator (Dirstein and Fallon, 2011). I think it makes for a great case study for bringing in elements from different disciplines and industries to really revolutionise the way this industry looks and processes its data. It also makes for a great insight into coming up with amazingly creative ideas from existing technologies.

In the oil industry seismic data is collected and often displayed in 3D for the evaluation of coal and hydrocarbon exploration. To do this a geophysicist has to pick individual horizons which more often than not takes months to complete and only covers the zone of interest. This is where this software is great it enables the automated picking of all horizons in the dataset in hours or days at most. What is truly amazing and creative is how this software does this. It’s based on the Human Genome Project.

So what goes the Human Genome Project have to do with finding oil?

This is the really creative part. The developer saw that the waveforms from seismic data weren’t all that different from the human Chromosomes. Or at least they could be analysed as data in a very similar way. By matching similar waveforms the software is able to create horizons from the data. So without getting bogged down in the technique aspects I’ll leave it there, however I’ll attach a link to a .pdf file of a recent magazine article on the software and the extra work we do with it for those interested.

This illustrates a lot of the topics and ideas addressed so far in this unit.

  • To be always aware and have a genuine thirst for knowledge.
  • To look outside your field or profession for inspiration.
  • To entertain all ideas.
  • To take a risk or leap of faith and chase those ideas.
  • To surround yourself with people who stimulate you and your ideas.
  • To make it your passion.

It is really inspiring to be involved with these sorts of projects as they are dynamic and ever-changing. It’s like being invited on a journey of discovery. It’s also unhindered by established dogma and rules because whats around the corner is unknown. I find it all very exciting for it’s as much about the journey as the destination. It is for this reason I consider myself creative.

References

Dirstein, J.K. and Fallon, G.N. (2011, April). Automated interpretation of 3D seismic. Preview, issue 151, p30-37. Link to .pdf

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I need your help!
April 12, 2011, 1:23 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m looking for some help coming up with the sub title for this blog. Originally it was ‘just another CCA1103 blog’ and currently it’s ‘learning is rarely pleasant’. Don’t really like how that sits as I personally enjoy learning very much. It does go with the blog title pretty well though.

Throw me some ideas. I need some feedback to get my ‘flow’ going otherwise I’ll just go around in circles. See what I did there Mark. I referred an unrelated post back to the unit. That right there is worth a couple of marks at least!



Creative Project #003

Running with the portrait idea for my creative project I thought a brief five question questionnaire about creativity would add a level of intimacy to the project.

After throwing ideas around with Franco for a bit we were able to get a ‘flow’ going. Bouncing ideas off each other, building on some, acknowledging others and finally refining it to the questionnaire. The whole process lasted about five minutes. The time it took to walk from class to the cafe for Franco‘s regular coffee fix.

I love how the creative process is rarely linear. I thrive in the chaos of refining ideas from a swirling mess of information. I actually had an interesting conversation about this last night. The messy vs neat debate. I represented messy and Peter represented neat. He liked everything structured so it could be put away, out of sight and easy to find. I on the other hand liked everything out, around me and within sight. I like to feel connected to everything at all times. This applies to the physical world as well as my inner thoughts. Might have the neat or messy question on the questionnaire.

The first draft of the questionnaire.

First name?
What do you consider creative?
Rate your level of creativity out of 10
Are you messy or tidy?

More questions to come. Please feel free to leave your responses or suggestions for questions.



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



Creative Process Illustrated

Found some great videos on youtube about how people in the creative industries come up with their ideas. They were very insightful, reinforcing the importance of understanding the creative process and how best to encourage it.


It’s always interesting to learn the source of any idea, concept or product. Nothing is ever created from a vacuum void of information. Some of the coolest ideas come from just putting A and B together or even P and Y.


Found it interesting how they re-worked the brief inhouse to get the most out of it. The constant circulation of ideas through the creative team is also worth mentioning. It’s not always the quality of the idea that’s important but where it might lead.


Really liked the point they made about being in the zone and working around it for maximum effect.

References

YTShowandTell. (2010). Creative Process Illustrated: Benjamin Palmer . Retrieved Mar 30, 2011 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aD457Dr1jx0

YTShowandTell. (2010). Creative Process Illustrated: Eric Kallman and Craig Allen of W+K . Retrieved Mar 30, 2011 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aD457Dr1jx0  

YTShowandTell. (2010). Creative Process Illustrated: Terrence Kelleman . Retrieved Mar 30, 2011 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aD457Dr1jx0



Creative Project #001

The creative process which I have talked about in the post Understanding your creativity: Preparation is being constantly aware of your environment. While categorising this information and applying it to your own ideas and concepts. With this in mind I stumble across this video on another wordpress blog and an idea was born!

What a great way to document the evolution of an idea from concept to final outcome. Or better yet what a great way to illustrate the creative process itself! My creative project might just very well be my own personal creative process come to life in the form of a stop motion animation video. Whether this will be a viable idea I’m not sure but as week three’s lecturer Harman, J. (2011) stated “entertain all ideas” no matter what your initial thoughts and feels are towards it. You never know where it might take you!

 

References

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

The Graphic Side of Life
http://graphicsideoflife.wordpress.com/



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