The artists of Creation
New Order Magazine
Dagmar Turner playing the violin during a brain surgery to analyse the parts of her brain responsible for intricate hand movements - King's College Hospital London, 2020
What is creativity?
Is it the idea of inspiration arriving like magic to the artist's mind? God taking over the psyche of an artist? Or, perhaps you could believe in creativity as a state of madness? Others see it simply from a psychological phenomena perspective. Throughout time, the idea of human creation has been the subject of great mystery. Where does it come from? And more specifically, who should be able to wield it?
The act of CREATION, since the middle ages, if not before, has been offered exclusively to divine beings.
The idea of creating out of nothingness was an idea completely aware to most cultures. It had to come from God because, in that time, he/she/it was the only creature understood to create things in this world. "Artists" were mainly left to copy its wonders, or perhaps to enhance it, at most. But what is the meaning of the artist's mind within our contemporary society? A society that allowed for so many years only God as the sole creator? The boundaries of the mind are limitless and so powerful is the act of creation, that it makes you wonder. Where does its responsibility lie?
Our mind is powerful when combined with the free spirit of imagination.
But what is the meaning of the artist's mind within our contemporary society? A society that allowed for so many years only God as the sole creator? The boundaries of the mind are limitless and so powerful is the act of creation, that it makes you wonder. Where does its responsibility lie?
Samuel Taylor Coleridge compared writing poetry to a passive reception and a channelling of natural winds. The harp symbolised the inspiration of a writer. Creativity was bound to nature and came through like winds that would stimulate the mind. The mind was floating like a fantasy within the artist.
This romantic notion of creativity as a mind connected to nature and God was also seen by Baltasar Gracian. He talked about art as the completion of nature, as if a Second Creator incarnated in the soul of the artist. The human mind is placed in a more central spotlight, although still connected to the mysterious divinity of God. Many forms of art and especially spectacles in nature had such an impression on the human senses that it's understandable why so many would associate it to the divine. The feeling of boundlessness and delight that we can get from physical reality ended up associated with something alien to human understanding. God had to remain the main creator and all the creativity of an artist had to be derived from his unicity. The artist had to reach the spiritual level of a God to be able to create.
Too often creating feels like designing a new reality around us. That's why creativity cannot be explained without the idea of the unpredictable mind. Behind these controlled senses, there is a mind consisting of the conscious and the unconscious. The conscious is kept as a moral compass to control the impulses of the mind. It decides what is right and wrong in society but it can not be strong enough to match the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind has this great power because 99,9% of the energy input to the human mind operates unconsciously. The unconscious isn't simply the opposite of the conscious. It is oppression that usually makes the
unconscious side of the mind stronger. Socially unacceptable ideas, wishes, traumas, desires and painful emotions set in our mind. It can express itself in great power which makes our thinking so unpredictable, in a way.
We often rely too much on our rational process, and yes, it does have a part to play, but, on the other hand, studies say that every frame of reality, seen through our conscious mind, is seen 1000 times by its unconscious part. And that's saying something, no? While our rational brain can explain social constructs and fluctuations, it's for our emotional side to choose a position and have the sagacity of subverting it, juggle it around like a maître. The same goes for fashion. It's about repositioning different parts of the brain and inventing new possible scenarios.
We lost most of our ability to fully take in all sensations and to create an imaginary world because of the use of words and labels. Instead it’s safer in our society to connect to the label coming from the sensation of a memory. Another factor that can limit the imagination is actually the body itself. Our mind or our soul, in catholic mythology, is an immortal substance that can live without the body. The soul would represent God, just like carnal pleasure would represent satan.
The devil is seen as the angel who fell from heaven, representing all things not accepted by Christian morality. Lucifer tried to ascend to Heaven and overthrone God as the supreme power. Much like Prometheus, stealing the fire of knowledge from Olympus, Lucifer intended to reign supreme and independently, is that so bad?
After the celestial war, Lucifer lost and was sent to the throne of Hell. This dichotomy made us believe that Heaven
is the only place of creation, of good and all that is beautiful. Artists, often, are seen as Lucifer, as the profeners of creations and much too associated with the idea of evil and darkness. Good and bad, however, as we have seen, are two subjective concepts, created by a christian-oriented society. By dethroning both God and the devil, the creative mind must ascend freely.... to any direction it chooses.
Our mind is powerful when combined with the free spirit of imagination. Imagination requires a peculiar effort of the mind, that can rarely be reached by pure intellect. For creativity, we need all parts of the mind to use to work together to its full potential. It's a framework of both reason and emotions that gives it its divine power. Only with all these ideas combined there is a possibility that the human mind reaches the level of divinity. It gives the artist the possibility to be, not just the second creator, but the only one shaping the world, as a new responsible born God.
However, reaching this Godly level and creating a new world shouldn't be enough for a lot of artists. To be a God is not to be oppressive, it's to understand every aspect of human society and understand the parts they take! It's about being complex, and inclusive. It's about not only creating your world, but leaving a meaning behind in this world (even when you pretend you don't). It's having the power that comes with the creation of moral rules (yes, the boring part), but most of all, to understand it's consequences and to think of the unfair effects that may result from them. It's about looking past stereotypes and scapegoats. A mortal God isn’t the goal alone, but leaving a new and better world behind it, to give creation an immortality and power in its full magnificence.
By dethroning both God and the devil, the creative mind must ascend freely.... to any direction it chooses.
A mortal God isn’t the goal alone, but, also, leaving a new and better world behind it. To give the art of creation power and immortality in its full magnificence.