MEDA302 – Creativity?

A seemingly simple question, but the further you delve into it, the more you ask of it. Is there a form of higher creativity as opposed to commonplace and is it directly linked with being artistic or is that another path itself?

In MEDA301, my final artwork was certainly nothing like what I had imagined in the first place. It was born from a strong concept but I struggled with presenting it in a mediated format. This was until a consultation where I was reminded that “Media Arts” and a ‘mediated’ work doesn’t necessarily mean the input of technology. You can take an idea or concept, explore what it means to you, the audience or the context and from there present it in the best medium format. There was something liberating about this knowledge and it is probably the most important thing I will take with me from MEDA301 into MEDA302. The importance of medium and what factors it influences in my own creativity.

This leads into this weeks reading, Creativity and Cultural Production (2011) by Philip McIntyre. Although  a bit intense in terms of the ground covered and the literature referenced, it raised a number of different perspectives on creativity and the creative process. There is an inherent need from humans to be able to clearly define things and place them into categories. Creativity is a difficult one, for how can the painting of the kindergartener on the fridge compare to a historic gallery piece. Yet they are both creative works. At the same time, the innovator, creating a new way of thinking and of doing things within our society is a creative human. Linking creativity to being artistic is valid, but I don’t believe it is fully accurate.

McIntyre puts forth various forms in which creativity could be defined, from other scholars throughout history, but the most profound and interesting part of his work was his discussion of Roland Barthes. The first time I came across the term ‘the death of the author’ was when I was in high school and my English teacher shared an article with us. At the time it was referencing Harry Potter and JK Rowling. Although she had written the books and created the world, it had gained such a popularity that it was not solely hers anymore. The art it inspired, personal involvement, and even fan fiction is just small ways in which the author has no control over how their world is interpreted. Though Barthes wrote his article long ago, I think it has more relevance today than it ever has, and mostly through the consumption of pop culture. If you don’t like what a character is doing in a show, you can go online and find someone who has written an alternate storyline about them. A show may be cancelled but the audience has the power to save it, which can be seen in Brooklyn Nine-Nine and their move to a different network. But moving beyond pop culture, there is a definite need to acknowledge the standings of the audience in the creative process, potentially above that of the creator (or genius). The artists intentions may be one thing, but how it is interpreted may be altogether different. And I don’t believe that is a bad thing. All art is simply communication and that is where McIntyre went towards the end of his writing.

“…the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author” (1967)

-Roland Barthes-

The author may be dead but as McIntyre states (2011, p. 59) this term can be transformed to say “The King is dead, long live the King”. An obtuse statement, but one which makes sense of the gap that a dead author leaves. In my opinion creativity can be split into the roles of the creator, the medium and artefact itself, and the audience. They all play an equal role but it is the communication between each and how one influences another that I think the creative process lies and how ‘true’ creativity can be formed.

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