urbanus vulgaris

urban life & culture / ideas & insights / innovation & development

Category: philosophy

Today is a great day to publish an insight on creativity.

by jiookrednav

150104_John Cleese on creativity

Well I started to get interested in creativity about thirty years ago, because I went to a conference at Cambridge and I started reading the research and I started comparing it with my own experience and I got very, very interested in it and I also got interested in the fact, that basically once you’ve established one or two principles, that’s all you can say about it, because to sum up something I sometimes take three hours to say:

All creativity comes from the unconscious. If creativity came from logic and intelligence, then all the logical and intelligent people could do it. But they can’t. It all boils down to getting to a playful and relaxed frame of mind. Most of it has to do with relaxation, because unless you’re relaxed you can’t hear the promptings from the unconscious.

Nobody ever had a bright idea when they were attacking a machine-gun-nest. You see what I mean? If you’re occupied with activity -and that is one of the reasons why there’s so little creativity at the moment, because nobody gets any peace any more, because these damn things are ringing all the time, and beep there and you know. You sit down, another e-mail comes in. It’s absolutely poison, because interruptions and anxiety will kill any kind of creativity.

You have to get in an atmosphere where you’re a little bit in a cocoon of you’re own, you close the door or you go sit in the park and you just stay quiet and for 20 minutes nothing happens, because you can only think of the things you ought to be doing: You know, people you forgot to telephone…, so you have to have a little notebook and you write those down and after 20 minutes, the mind starts to calm down, just as it does in meditation, it’s almost an identical process. And then if you start thinking about the subject, not too hard, you don’t want to get tense, play with the thought, and you get little ideas start popping up, but if you’re mind is full of, zoom, zoom beep, beep, you’ll never hear those little ideas, it’ll be drowned out you see what I mean?

This remarkable insight was explained by John Cleese in this interview, starting at about 52 minutes: http://www.npo.nl/college-tour-special-john-cleese/25-12-2014/VPWON_1234760

And here’s some more from Cleese on this blog:

As well as identifying that ideas and breakthroughs percolate in the deep recesses of our brain, Cleese talked about some of the key, practical traits of truly creative people. In doing so he told a story of Brian Bates, a psychology professor at Sussex University. Intrigued by how the creative mind works, Bates chose to study the work practices of architects, because the profession required the combination of two brains in the creation of beautifully groundbreaking yet structurally sound buildings.

“He did a very simple test. He asked various architects to name who, in their opinion, were the most creative architects in the field. He then asked those creative architects to tell him what they do from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed. He then went to the uncreative architects—without perhaps explaining that’s why he was talking to them—and asked them the same thing. Then he compared the two. He discovered two differences, and neither was to do with intelligence.”

“The first thing he discovered is that the creative architects knew how to play. They could get immersed in a problem. It was almost childlike, like when a child gets utterly absorbed in a problem. The second thing was that they deferred making decisions as long as they could. This is surprising.”

“If you have a decision to make, what is the single most important question to ask yourself? I believe it’s ‘when does this decision have to be made’? When most of us have a problem that’s a little bit unresolved, we’re a little bit uncomfortable. We want to resolve it. The creative architects had this tolerance for this discomfort we all feel when we leave things unresolved.”

“Why would those two things be importance? The playfulness is because in that moment of childlike play, you’re much more in touch with your unconscious. The second is that when you defer decisions as long as possible, it’s giving your unconscious the maximum amount of time to come up with something.”

Summing it up, he narrows it down to 5 Lessons in this lecture (transcript here). “Creativity is not a talent, it’s a way of operating”:

150104_John Cleese on creativity 02

  1. Space (“You can’t become playful, and therefore creative, if you’re under your usual pressures.”)
  2. Time (“It’s not enough to create space; you have to create your space for a specific period of time.”)
  3. Time (“Giving your mind as long as possible to come up with something original,” and learning to tolerate the discomfort of pondering time and indecision.)
  4. Confidence (“Nothing will stop you being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake.”)
  5. Humor (“The main evolutionary significance of humor is that it gets us from the closed mode to the open mode quicker than anything else.”)

 

Jeremy Rifkin: A New Era of Capitalism

by vytasvulgaris

Jeremy Rifkin about the current global development trends and “the third  industrial revolution”. About the emerging new political order, about the new generations of social entrepreneurs, about survival of human race etc.

Some more of Rifkin’s quite fascinating anthropological concept – Empathic Civilization (RSA Animate)

Jerry’s map

by gailiute

Some time ago I was thinking for a while what i perfect city would look like. well, maybe not a perfect, but the one that comes up only from your imagination. Mine would be partly on the gentle downhill with historical down town, one bottom-edge facing the waterfront of the huge lake (that on the other side transforms into the river or at least connects with other lake). packed with houses but with small pocket parks distributed densely throughout the city. And so on, and so on :)

The movie is about a man, who accidentally started drawing his own city and never stopped. for a few moments his talk about how his city transforms sounded very much like the real world behaviour.

Movie was found here:

http://ryeisenberg.tumblr.com/post/9521157949/iheartchaos-this-guy-started-making-city-maps

100 artists in one

by gailiute

 

How do you stage an international art show with work from 100 different artists? If you’re Shea Hembrey, you invent all of the artists and artwork yourself — from large-scale outdoor installations to tiny paintings drawn with a single-haired brush. Watch this funny, mind-bending talk to see the explosion of creativity and diversity of skills a single artist is capable of.

Shea Hembrey explores patterns from nature and myth. A childhood love of nature, and especially birdlife, informs his vision. Full bio »

 

What I find the most intriguing  from this talk is 5 definitions of the art that are presented by Shea. You may say its the matter of taste whether  an object can be called art or not, however Shea´s definitions brings really a lot of clarity in defining contemporary art. Well, at least for me :)

Genre De Vie (sneak preview)

by vytasvulgaris

 

Genre de Vie is a documentary film about bicycles, cities and personal awareness. It looks at desired space and our own impact to the process of it. The film documents urban life empowered by the simplicity of the bicycle  (http://www.genredevie.com).

Here our friends film makers introduce a sneak preview already showing some pure thoughts and insights wraped in amazing imagery and motion. The rest is comming up this winter.

Dan Phillips: Creative houses from reclaimed stuff

by gailiute

Dan Phillips is a designer and builder in Huntsville, Texas. His mission is to divert landfill waste while creating sustainable housing for single mothers, artists, and families with low incomes.
However the main message here is not about recycling. It is about the people who base their beliefs on consumerism. According to Dan Phillips, „we count on belonging to specific group of society despite what price we have to put for it.”

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

by vytasvulgaris

“[Martin Luther King, Jr.] gave the ‘I have a dream’ speech, not the ‘I have a plan’ speech.”

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html

Why SOPA is a bad idea: Clay Shirky on TED.com

by vytasvulgaris

Just one more of the convincing talks to elaborate on the copyright topic

Tim Harford: Trial, error and the God complex

by vytasvulgaris

http://www.ted.com/talks/tim_harford.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/tim_harford.html

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