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Last updated Aug 15, 2023

# January 5, 2021


Sources/Interdisciplinary Approaches to Creation & Innovation - Class #innovation #creativity

# Creativity as Resistance

To read:

# How to Do Nothing


“In a situation where every waking moment has become the time in which we make our living, and when we submit even our leisure for numerical evaluation via likes on Facebook and Instagram, constantly checking on its performance like one checks a stock, monitoring the ongoing development of our personal brand, time becomes an economic resource that we can no longer justify spending on ==‘nothing.’== It provides no return on investment; ==it is simply too expensive.== This is a cruel confluence of time and space: just as we lose noncommercial spaces, we also see all of our own time and our actions as potentially commercial.”

_“I hear, see, and smell things in a world where others also hear, see, and smell me. And it takes a break to remember that: a break to do nothing, to just listen, to remember in the deepest sense ==what, when, and where we are.== I want to be clear that I’m not actually encouraging anyone to stop doing things completely. In fact, I think that “doing nothing”—in the sense of refusing productivity and stopping to listen—==entails an active process of listening that seeks out the effects of racial, environmental, and economic injustice and brings about real change. ==I consider “doing nothing” both as a kind of deprogramming device and as sustenance for those feeling too disassembled to act meaningfully.”

Cards/Doing nothing is active listening

^^^ omg put in Cathexis

“In such times as these, ==having recourse to periods of and spaces for “doing nothing” is of utmost importance, because without them we have no way to think, reflect, heal, and sustain ourselves—individually or collectively. ==There is a kind of nothing that’s necessary for, at the end of the day, doing something. When overstimulation has become a fact of life, I suggest that we reimagine #FOMO as #NOMO, the necessity of missing out, or if that bothers you, #NOSMO, the necessity of sometimes missing out.”

Cards/Doing nothing is self-care

“…‘To hear is the physical means that enables perception. To listen is to give attention to what is perceived both acoustically and psychologically.’ ==The goal and the reward of Cards/Deep Listening was a heightened sense of receptivity and a reversal of our usual cultural training, which teaches us to quickly analyze and judge more than to simply observe.== When I learned about Deep Listening, I realized I had unwittingly been practicing it for a while—only in the context of bird-watching. In fact, I’ve always found it funny that it’s called bird-watching, because half if not more of ==bird-watching is actually bird-listening. (I personally think they should just rename it “bird-noticing.”)== However you refer to it, what this practice has in common with Deep Listening is that observing birds requires you quite literally to do nothing. Bird-watching is the opposite of looking something up online. You can’t really look for birds; you can’t make a bird come out and identify itself to you. The most you can do is walk quietly and wait until you hear something, and then stand motionless under a tree, using your animal senses to figure out where and what it is.”

# Against Creativity

“…individualization is a key factor in the contemporary rhetoric of creativity. But the rhetoric demands even more; you have to be a particular ==kind== of individual. Too often it is white, middle-class, straight, fully abled men that are creative and innovative, and all other forms of minority identity are further marginalized.”

“What we see on our social media feeds, the songs we listen to, the information we are presented with, the news sites we visit, the people we meet and the emotions we feel are all beginning to be determined by coded algorithms. While they can bring new things into our consumption patterns (‘you listen to X, have you heard Y?’), such creativity serves only to keep us consuming. It is newness to maintain more of the same.”

Cards/Creativity enables consumerism

“If creativity is about the power to create something from nothing, then believing in impossible things is its most critical component. We need to believe that impossible worlds can be reached, if these impossibilities can ever be realized and become lived experiences.”

Cards/To create something from nothing, we must believe in the impossible

“The ‘creativity’ inherent in politics is more about holding on to power, rather than thinking of new ways of tackling common injustices.
This brand of politics has created governments that have systematically failed to stop – and in some cases, catalysed – inequality, global poverty, environmental degradation and the threat of global nuclear annihilation. As such, people are taking it upon themselves to manage and create new political institutions. If the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement have taught us anything, it’s that post-2008, political structures are fragile.”

“To be ==radically creative== is to see connections and potential ways of augmenting each path of resistance with the other. To ==collaborate in opposition== is not easy and requires an agonistic mind set of patience, forgiveness, self-restraint and a great deal of emotional energy. Such things are in very short supply in the current suffocating environment of urban capitalism.”

# What are we resisting against?

  1. The definition of a “creative”
    1. Boo stereotypes boo tech bros
    2. Being “creative” today = trying to fit in a mold, looking and speaking the part
    3. Does this mean people who don’t fit the mold are less creative?
    4. Questions to think about: Who sets the rhetoric? Who defines the parameters? How much agency and power do we yield as privileged citizens of a developing nation? What’s our role in defining this identity as we build our own?
  2. We need to resist the notion that to be creative is to constantly grow and be productive.
    1. We live in a world where everything is commoditized, including time
    2. How do we navigate a world where the primary identity of everyone is defined by their level of productivity?
    3. Have a “place of nothingness”, a source of grounding. Have moments of nothing.
  3. Falling prey to our “infinite appetite for distractions.”
    1. Is Our Attention for Sale?
      1. information becomes abundant, attention becomes a scarce resource
      2. Cards/The attention economy is when we treat human attention as a finite commodity – one that is to be managed and capitalized on by a few.
      3. the goals technologies have for us don’t align with our human goals; engagement over enlightenment
      4. now our primary business model of this new communication medium
      5. irony: internet is decentralized, but platforms that have emerged are centralized
      6. take into account our infinite appetite for distractions
      7. assert and defend our freedom of attention
    2. People are always strategizing how to alter our behavior in order to maximize profit
    3. How much autonomy do we have when we interact with our devices? Do we do it out of our own will, or because the algorithm led us to?

# Why is it important to resist?

# How does the resistance look like?

# How does resisting make us creative?

Cards/Resisting makes us creative

# Nine Commandments Final

Revise your nine commandments to reflect your processing of the input from class materials, class discussions, and feedback.

Elaborate on each commandment such that it’s clear what’s informing each and how each includes a processing of class materials and class discussions.

The elaboration of each commandment can come the form of your liking:
a) paragraph form
b) footnoting
c) other ways of commenting, elaborating, annotating