Can the activity of creative thinking be likened to botany, to the growth of roots or leaves seeking light or are we at its mercy awaiting a muse to hit? Perhaps the very activity we take for granted can be nurtured, harnessed by finding the most conducive position by which to receive light, by cutting back dead wood or tethering our branches to contort in balletic configurations … the ideas arise from us, how much are they shaped by their journey to the surface?
Consider the passage below. The text is a discussion into the ‘rhizome’; an attempt to create an ‘image’ of ways in which thought is processed. Although wordy – I could have made the section shorter- it offers us something tangible to work with, a way to concretely explore how we might begin the activity of creative endeavor and harness possibilities in the development of art:
Let us summarize the principal characteristics of a rhizome: unlike trees or their roots, the rhizome connects any point to any other point, and its traits are not necessarily linked to traits of the same nature; it brings into play very different regimes of signs, and even nonsign states. The rhizome is reducible neither to the one nor the multiple. … It is composed not of units but of dimensions, or rather directions in motion. It has neither beginning nor end, but always a middle (milieu) from which it grows and which it overspills. … When a multiplicity of this kind changes dimension, it necessarily changes in nature as well, undergoes a metamorphosis. Unlike a structure, which is defined by a set of points and positions … the rhizome is made only of lines: lines of segmentarity and stratification as its dimensions, and the line of flight or deterritorialization as the maximum dimension after which the multiplicity undergoes metamorphosis, changes in nature …Unlike the tree, the rhizome is not the object of reproduction…The rhizome operates by variation, expansion, conquest, capture, offshoots … the rhizome pertains to a map that must be produced, constructed, a map that is always detachable, connectable, reversible, modifiable, and has multiple entryways and exits and its own lines of flight.”
Please attempt to answer the following questions, can you define yourselves as creative thinkers?
- Where do you look for inspiration How do you gather and record inspiration?
- How significant are the conditions of your surroundings to your ability to work effectively?
- What are the basic constituents you need in life over the course of this MA to function in a creative energised and focussed manner.
- Are you aware of how differently you think or process ideas in different places or in response to different stimulus? Can you describe these different modes of thought?
- As you make, what are your concentration levels; do you dip in and out of focus at regular intervals, work in sweeps gaining greater depth of knowledge with each attempt etc
- Can the differences in these mind-sets be used more effectively in your creative practice?