The arguments of the complexity sciences & of the enactive approaches to cognition are all encompassing arguments. The claim that reality is dynamic, processes all the way up & all the way down, & is composed of fields & processes that temporarily stabilize into self-organized islands of stability; or that humans are inherently intersubjective, extended relational sense-making embodied beings – are both arguments that apply across the board. What also applies across the board is the enactive claim that how we do things, with certain tools, forms of embodiment, & in certain environments enacts our concrete lived reality. How we gather produces who we become.
A critical set of questions follow from this in regards to our creative practices today:
- How do we actually gather as intra-subjective, embodied, embedded, extended, & enactive beings in a dynamic world?
- Why have we come to gather & organize ourselves & make a world in this particular style?
- Is how we gather today well suited to engaging creatively with the most pressing tensions & contradictions we are part of?
The answer is that we have historically come to produce our collective extended selves in relation to creativity in a style that is largely disembodied, individualistic, mind/brain focused, & solution oriented. This is not “natural” (or even that effective, by its own criteria) – it is the outcome of a particular history. In understanding that this is historically contingent – gives us the opportunity to radically remake our creative practices.
The issue is not to find the “best,” or most “natural” or universally “true” creative practice – that style of approach is part of the problem. Rather, the question “what should be done?” is one that we take as an open call to experiment with new ways & styles of gathering. And these experiments involve inventing a new ethos of creative practices suited to the tensions & contradictions we wish to care for in this precarious act of planetary living today.
Our sense of one alternative approach to developing creative practices, & one that strongly contrasts to our current style of creative practice, is to begin from an actively intra-subjective stance that engages with the world as one that is itself spontaneously creative, & where all creativity participates in shifting self-organizing systems towards new feed-forward cycles.
There is much more to say about all of this, but given the profound gap between our current evolving sense of what it might be to be an enactive human embedded & intra-subjectively coshaping a highly dynamic nonlinear reality – & our historical style of developing a world and practice of anthropocentric, individualized, brain focused, & idea driven creativity – isn’t it time to consider some pragmatic, and radical alternative possibilities of gathering?