A third criteriaSeptember 27th, 2011
I wrote earlier about the two essential criteria for judging whether something is creative.
After I wrote the post, I began to get a feeling, a nagging sensation, that I was still missing something.
And then it came to me.
The very idea of creativity presupposes that there’s a creator behind it.
That explains why a random collection of events or objects cannot be considered to be creative because there’s no evidence of a creator’s hand behind it.
And it debunks my earlier assertion that 4’33” is not creative.
Well, maybe not entirely.
If I were to go with just the earlier two definitions of newness and value, I still hold that it is not creative because it lacks aesthetic value (for me).
But if we consider its value not from the aesthetic standpoint, but from a philosophical one, it does fulfill all three conditions for creativity.
First, it is new.
Second, it has value from a philosophical standpoint. (It opens up our minds to what may or may not be considered music.)
Third, there’s a deliberate hand behind it.
And how about the other well-known artist with similar anarchistic tendencies, Jackson Pollock?
Can we consider his paintings to be creative because they seem be produced so randomly (by splashing paint on a canvas)?
When we consider that there’re an infinite number of ways to splash paint on a canvas, the fact he chooses one over another suggests that there’s deliberateness behind his actions, and that fulfills the criteria of deliberateness.
I love the sound of waves splashing on the shore. Or rain on the roof.
And watching the sun set over a smog-filled cityscape.
Do they fulfill the three conditions of creativity?
Newness? Value? Creator?
I’ll leave that for you to decide.