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139.133 Creative Communication: Creative Inspiration Lecture

The second lecture for 133 Creative Communication paper offered by Massey University, Auckland
by

Rand Hazou

on 26 July 2016

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Transcript of 139.133 Creative Communication: Creative Inspiration Lecture

139.133 Creative Communication: Creative Inspiration
Paper Coordinator: Contact Details
Being 'Critical'
Being critical is not the same as criticising. Being critical does not mean finding fault with people’s ideas, but always reading, thinking and writing with the awareness of
the instability and variety of ways of knowing
.

It means questioning what you hear and read (whether expert or not). It involves appreciating what is done carefully, logically, and thoroughly, while being aware of the difficulties and problems of making knowledge and the possibilities of confusion or error.

It involves an appreciation that knowledge and insight can emerge from different perspectives.

When we think critically we are being active; we are not passively accepting everything we read and hear, but questioning, evaluating, making judgements, finding connections and categorising.
It means being open to other points of view and not being blinded by our own biases.
'To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour'

William Blake - Auguries of Innocence
In this course we want you to focus on three things:

We want to you to create and produce creative works. We want to encourage you to get creative and we want to give you some skills to help you produce creative works.

We want you to develop a
CRITICAL
language around creative communication and creative work. We want to be able to develop a vocabulary to appraise and discuss creative works. We want you to engage with theories of creativity and art.
We want you to interrogate the meanings of art and creative works.


We want you to explore why it all matters. What is important about creative production? Why are creative works important?
Main Points
What is Art?
What is Art?
What is Art?
What does Critical Mean?
Interrogating the meanings of Art and creative Works
Hennessy Youngman discusses how to create art
139.133 Creative Communication: Creative Inspiration113
Dr. Rand Hazou
An interesting contradiction emerges when thinking about creativity and inspiration.

Beyond the Artist: On the one hand there is a tradition of thought that links inspiration and creative ideas to something that is beyond the artist - beyond the 'self'. Within this tradition, creative inspiration is sometimes attributed to the divine or an attendant spirit. The Greeks called these divine attendant spirits of creativity "daemons." The Romans called this disembodied creative spirit a "genius".

Within the Artist: On the other hand there is a tradition of thought that links creativity to hard word and effort. Within this tradition, creativity is sometimes understood as an internal struggle for the artist involving skill and craft which can be cultivated and developed.
Where do Creative Ideas Come From?
External Spirit?
Something that can be Cultivated?
Where do creative ideas come from?
Thinking About Inspiration:
Hyde, Lewis. “The Labor of Gratitude.”
Lewis Hyde discuses creativity and distinguishes between work and labor. For Hyde, Labor refers to ‘something dictated by the course of life rather than by society, something that is often urgent but that nevertheless has its own internal rhythm, something more bound up with feeling, more interior than work’ (p.65).

According to Hyde, the task of setting one’s creative gifts free was a recognised labor in the ancient world. The Roman’s called a person’s tutelary spirit his ‘genius’. In Greece it was called a ‘daemon’.

Ancient authors tell us that Socrates, for example, had a daemon who would speak up when he was about to do something that did not accord with his true nature. It was believed that each man had his idios daemon, his personal spirit which could be cultivated and developed.

Apuleius, the Roman author of the Golden Ass, wrote a treatise on the daemon/genius, and one of the things he says is that in Rome it was the custom on one’s birthday to offer a sacrifice to one’s own genius. A man didn’t just receive gifts on his birthday, he would also give something to his guiding spirit. Respected in this way the genius made one ‘genial’ – sexually potent, artistically creative and spiritually fertile'. (Hyde, p. 67).
Hyde, Lewis. “The Labor of Gratitude.” The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World. New York: Random House, Inc., 2007. 57-71. Print.
Is inspiration a Gift from the divine?
'I myself do nothing. The Holy Spirit accomplishes all through me'

- William Blake
Elizabeth Gilbert's Lecture on TED
Our elusive creative genius
Elizabeth discusses the idea of the Daemon and Genius at about 06:00
A Life of Its Own
'One of the reasons why artists believe that they are divinely gifted may be because their work seems to have a life of its own. Once the writing or improvisation is in place, the work can becomes like a separate organism: you can try to make it go one way, but it will often tell you to go somewhere else'
(Farrow, Angie. Study Guide, Chapter 2, p. 30).

Look at what the English playwright Bernard Shaw had to say about this:

‘When I am writing a play, I let the play write itself and shape itself. Sometimes, I do not see what the play is driving at until quite a long time after I have written it’
- (George Bernard Shaw)

William Blake
William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker.
William Blake
“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern”


― William Blake, 'The Marriage of Heaven and Hell'

Aldous Huxley
Aldous Leonard Huxley (26 July 1894 – 22 November 1963) was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. Best known for his novels including 'Brave New World' and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel writing, film stories and scripts. He spent the later part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death.
'The Doors of Perception' is a 1954 book by Aldous Huxley detailing his experiences when taking mescaline. The book takes the form of Huxley's recollection of a mescaline trip that took place over the course of an afternoon, and takes its title from a phrase in William Blake's poem 'The Marriage of Heaven and Hell'.
Doors of Perception
The Doors
This book was the influence behind Jim Morrison's naming his band 'The Doors' in 1965
Can we Cultivate Creativity?
Although there seems to be plenty of evidence to suggest that the creative artist is ‘gifted’, we all know that this is not the entire story.

Michelangelo once said: ‘If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all’.

Michelangelo could never have painted the Sistine Chapel on inspiration alone: years of dedication to a craft enabled him to shape worlds and figures through brushstroke.

You will discover through your study and practice of film, theatre, and creative writing, that knowledge and skill are important determinants in the success of a creative work.

Knowing the technical dynamics of making a fiction, understanding the effects of placing one image against another, seeing how stories can be given emotional power - these are vital aspects of creative practice. Inspiration alone will not always suffice.

(Farrow, Angie. Chapter 2, p.32)
Bohm, David. “On Creativity.” On Creativity. Ed. Lee Nichol. London and New York: Routledge, 1998. 1-26. Print.

'One prerequisite for originality is clearly that a person shall
not
be inclined to
impose his preconceptions on the fact as he sees it
. Rather, he must be able to learn something new, even if this means that the ideas and notions that are comfortable or dear to him may be overturned' (p.2)

'Creativity is always founded on the sensitive perception of what is new and different from what is inferred from previous knowledge' (p.4).

Creativity, Originality and Preconceptions
Cultivating Curiosity
"Creativity is about learning how to be curious, to keep asking questions, to keep observing, to let yourself see things in new ways, to look at familiar spaces as if for the first time. At the beginning of the course, we talked about novelty as being a necessary part of a creative work. Yet novelty is usually born from familiar places and experiences. Sharpening your sense of wonder about the things you see every day can be an excellent way to develop your creativity. It arouses your desire to expand on what you see, to share what you see with others".
Oppositions
"Sometimes, it is possible to combine two unrelated ideas to achieve good effect. Arthur Koestler in ‘The Act of Creation’ has a name for this phenomenon. He calls it bisociation. He suggests that most of us have a tendency to think in associative or habitual patterns. Knowledge is a vast network of interrelated concepts. It is natural that we should look for things that relate to each other. Creative process sometimes means opening up to the widest variety of combinations: dyslexia and cooking, blue moons and computer skills, light filaments and jelly roll, in order to provide the spark that ignites the idea. Importantly, it is not just a question of putting random ideas into connection; they also have to serve the needs of the work".
Write down six nouns. Such as eye, olive tree, washing machine,etc. From a dictionary, select six random words. Place the random words against the nouns and see if you can make connections between them.
Exercise
Farrow, Angie. Study Guide, Chapter 2, p.36
Farrow, Angie. Study Guide, Chapter 2, p. 34.
Do Creative Ideas really originate from 'outside' oneself?
Does Inspiration come from an external divine and other worldly source?
Let's stay with Blake and think a bit more about Inspiration and where it comes from.
Let's take a closer look at how Creative Ideas can be transformed and developed.
This sounds a lot to me like 'Critical Thinking' - something we want to cultivate in this course.....
Being 'Critical'
Being critical is not the same as criticising. Being critical does not mean finding fault with people’s ideas, but always reading, thinking and writing with t
he awareness of the instability and variety of ways of knowing
.

It means questioning what you hear and read (whether expert or not). It involves appreciating what is done carefully, logically, and thoroughly, while being aware of the difficulties and problems of making knowledge and the possibilities of confusion or error.

It involves an appreciation that knowledge and insight can emerge from different perspectives.

When we think critically we are being active; we are not passively accepting everything we read and hear, but questioning, evaluating, making judgements, finding connections and categorising.
It means being open to other points of view and not being blinded by our own biases.
Remember...?

Being Critical Involves an Appreciation of a Multiplicity of Viewpoints.

It involves challenging our own preconceptions and biases.
Try and Remember these points...
Email: r.t.hazou@massey.ac.nz
Work:+64 9 414 0800 | Ext. 43342
Office Hours: Mondays 3:00-4:00pm, Wednesdays: 2:00-3:00pm
Office location: AT2.62 (Atrium Building, Level 2, Room 62)
139.133 Creative Communication:
Creative Inspiration Lecture

Check It out -
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06:00
Full transcript