A Little Dream
Photography, for me, is a supreme moment captured with a single shot. It appears to be an easy activity; in fact, it is a varied and ambiguous process in which the only common denominator among its practitioners is their instrument.
For me, the camera is a sketchbook, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant, which - in visual terms - questions and decides simultaneously. As far as I am concerned, taking photographs is a means of understanding, which cannot be separated from other means of understanding. It is putting one’s head, one’s eye and one’s heart on the same axis. In order to give meaning to the world, one has to feel oneself involved in what one frames through the viewfinder.
My exceptional photographs continue to be rare. In all my photo essays I am always looking for a unique photo, the exceptional one that could he looked at for more than a few seconds. It takes a great deal of milk to make a little cream.
I have never been interested in the documentary aspect of photography except as a poetic expression. Only the photograph that springs from life is of interest to me. The joy of looking, sensitivity, sensuality, imagination, all that one takes to heart, come together in the viewfinder of a camera. That joy will exist for me forever.
“Every person, all the events of your life are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you. The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.” - Richard Bach
The Nature of Creativity
Questions and (maybe) Answers. Part III
3. Is Creativity Inherited?
Everything is getting to be inherited these days. Advances in the science of genetics, with more promised, have big implications for both the understanding and the control of the human design. Not only are the causal genes of many diseases and of psychopathology being specified, but the day is getting closer when the human genome, the entire genetic complement of humanity, may be mapped.
Meanwhile there is the more mundane meaning of inherited to consider. It has two main and significantly different meanings. Webster's Dictionary gives one as "passed down from predecessors," mechanism not suggested. The other is: "transmitted genetically or biologically from generation to generation." In both these senses, is creativity inherited?
In the DNA sense of the term, there is very little evidence of a significant genetic factor in the inheritance of creativity, especially when quantitative test measures of creativity are used. In brief, the psychometric evidence suggests a qualified no. Identical twins do correlate highly with one another on virtually all measures of intelligence and creativity, but when it comes to creativity alone, so do fraternal twins to almost the same degree. Twins aside, when families are studied over several generations, it does seem that there are certain family lines in which creativity "runs." It appears likely that a mix of genes and environments indeed affects creativity. A family is an enveloping environment as well as an envelope of similar genes. And then there is the great world outside, where we are on our own. In creativity as in many other traits, genetic influences are very difficult to separate from environmental ones. My personal preference is to put aside genetic differences, if any, and to look to environments. The history of culture reveals a stream of connected and evolving consciousness. Ideas evolve; cultures evolve and environments can be the transmitters of values, insights and opportunities.
Creators on Creating - Awakening and Cultivating the Imaginative Mind
Frank Barron, Alfonso Montuori, Anthea Barron
“I am interested in ideas, not merely in visual productsd” - Marcel Duchamp
THE CONDITIONS FOR FLOW IN CREATIVITY.
Creativity involves the production of novelty. The process of discovery involved in creating something new appears to be one of the most enjoyable activities any human can be involved in. In fact, it is easy to recognize the conditions of flow in the accounts highly creative people, as they describe how it feels to do the sort of things they do.
The Clarity of Goals: In certain conditions, the creative process begins with the goal of solving a problem that is given to the person by someone else or is suggested by the state of the art in the domain. Moreover, anything that does not work as well as it could can provide a clear goal to the inventor.
For artists the goal of the activity is not so easily found, In fact, the more creative the problem, the less clear it is what needs to be done. Discovered problems, the ones that generate the greatest changes in the domain, are also the most difficult to enjoy working on because of their elusiveness. In such cases, the creative person somehow must develop an unconscious mechanism that tells him or her what to do. The poet Gyorgy Faludy usually does not start writing until a "voice" tells him, often in the middle of the night, "Gyorgy, it's time to start writing." He adds ruefully: "That voice has my number, but I don’t have his.” The ancients called that voice the Muse.
Very often this is how the Muse communicates - through glass darkly, as it were. It is a splendid arrangement, for if the artist were not tricked by the mystery, he or she might never venture into the unexplored territory.
Knowing How Well One Is Doing: The solution seems to be that those individuals who keep doing creative work are those who succeed in internalizing the field's criteria of judgment to the extent that they can give feedback to themselves, without having to wait to hear from experts. Many creative scientists say that the difference between them and their less creative peers is the ability to separate bad ideas from good ones, so that they don't waste much time exploring blind alleys. Everyone has both bad and good ideas all the time, they say. But some people can't tell them apart until it's too late, until they have already invested a great deal of time in the unprofitable hunches. This is another form of the ability to give oneself feedback: to know in advance what is feasible and what will work, without having to suffer the consequences of bad judgment. At Linus Pauling's sixtieth birthday celebration, a student asked him, "Dr. Pauling, how does one go about having good ideas?" He replied, "You have a lot of ideas and throw away the bad ones." To do that, of course, one has to have a very well internalized picture of what the domain is like and what constitutes "good" and "bad" ideas according to the field.
The Merge of Action and Awareness: But when the challenges are just right, the creative process begins to hum, and all other concerns are temporarily shelved in the deep involvement with the activity. Barry Commoner uses similar terms to describe the almost automatic quality of the flow experience when writing, expressing the feeling of merging action and awareness through the image of the flowing ink and the flowing of ideas. The novelist Richard Stern gives a classic description of how it feels to become lost in the process of writing and to feel the rightness of one's actions in terms of what is happening in that special world of one’s own creation.
Avoiding Distractions: Many of the peculiarities attributed to creative persons are really just ways to protect the focus of concentration so that they may lose themselves in the creative process. Distractions interrupt flow, and it may take hours to recover the peace of mind one needs to get on with the work. The more ambitious the task, the longer it takes to lose oneself in it, and the easier it is to get distracted.
Forgetting Self, Time, and Surroundings: When distractions are out of the way and the other conditions for flow are in place, the creative process acquires all the dimensions of flow - a deep sense of flowing along an extended present and the powerful sense of doing exactly the right thing the only way it could be done. It may not happen often, but when it does the beauty of it justifies all the hard work.
Creativity Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention