Why do we equate Creativity with the Arts and Individualism?
Is it because there is a natural connection between Art, Creativity and Individualism?
That might be an ok hypothesis, but it needs to be critically explored in the light of history. Everything has a history – even creativity, individuality, and art.
The most common thing that history shows is that most of what we think to be ancient and natural is of a much more recent and complex origin. And this is the case with creativity, art and individualism. Creativity is the most recent of these, and as a concept it was developed only in the late 1800’s-1930’s. Art and Individualism were constructed together over the 1600-1800’s as part of larger social shifts. And the logic, practices and systems that connect these three young practices (ecologies really) only emerged in the early to mid twentieth century. Fascinatingly critical parts of this connection are developed as part of US military research, and CIA supported cold war efforts.
Why does any of this matter? Well, for a start defining and developing practices of creativity as an anthropocentric individualistic enterprise in the service of self-expression is not simply a misunderstanding of creativity, but misses the much needed collective, distributed, more-than human, difference recognizing and experimenting practices that are part to the broader logic of creativity that are so critically needed today.
For us the creative question is how do we participate in the development of new approaches to creative practices that allow for the emergence of new ways of collectively and collaboratively being alive with and of this our one planet.
Creativity, the arts, and individualism – are dynamic pluralistic living creations that have come into being as certain processes but are changing, leaping and exapting in novel and astonishing ways. For us the question is: what else can they do? What are all the ways individualism can and is becoming more-than or other-than individual? What are all the ways the practices of the arts can and are becoming more-than or other-than conduits of individual self-expression? These are the astonishing experiments.