Thursday, February 25, 2010

contradiction in creativity

A snippet from today's writing. 
This idea of contention, opposition, and temporary synthesis is key in analyzing the procession of creative work. Creativity thrives in an environment of nurturing conflict, and a motivating factor for many artists, as well as scientists, is the need to express themselves in contrast or conflict with the prevailing ideologies of the culture(s) around them. Though this may seem at first an oxymoronic statement, it is clear that the life-blood of artistic and philosophical advancement lies in struggle: each new “great” school of art or philosophy comes about as a reaction to the previous, now ossified system.
Calling it a "system" at all is a demonstration of this. Nature is systematized. Contained, controlled, mastered. This is one of the conceits of progress.
When something has become a system it has entered the adult stage. Along with this comes stasis, and ultimately, degeneration or replacement by a young upstart. The Golden Bough's monomyth finds some purchase in this territory, as does the Graal myth of the wounded king and Percival: what we now establish must be overthrown. The myth of progress depends on this. According to it, each generation must exceed the past. And perhaps in some sense it often does, but this linear, teleological myth implies a singular goal. It contradicts those traditions that attempt to mirror rather than master nature, which reveals itself as the circle or spiral, never a line. 

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