Definition of Surrender

What is Surrender?

Creative processes involve coaxing things experimentally towards and across emergent thresholds of self-organizing into new states. One cannot lead – for there is nothing to lead towards. One follows, participates – coaxes speculatively – one cannot know in advance all what a thing, body, system or event is capable of…

Invention is less about the cause than it is about self-conditioning emergence… The designer is the helpmate of emergence…” (B. Massumi)

This type of process necessarily involves forms of surrender – surrender to matter, to the (far from equilibrium) crisis, surrender to actively following the unique states that emerge in the process, surrender to the reality that the process will also qualitatively transform you.

Yes, a team is active and decisions are made, but if, as is the case with radical forms of novelty, the novel outcome neither exists nor can be known in advance – then there is no choice but to experimentally surrender to the process. 

It is in this manner that betrayal also becomes a structural aspect of creative processes that lead to qualitatively new outcomes. A world is being left behind for one that cannot be known until one becomes it. 

There are always ethical dimensions to invention that cannot be ignored in regards to the qualitatively new – or the potentially qualitatively new. In this there are perhaps a few guiding ethos: new worlds are possible, and an ethics is always immanent to a world in becoming. One cannot get away from the reality that life and creativity are dangerous. 

on What Is Innovation, and How to Innovate

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