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AACORN  January 2006

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Subject:

Re: Commitment and social creativity

From:

Jürgen Bergmann <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Jürgen Bergmann <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 23 Jan 2006 15:32:55 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Hi all,
ecspecially those who were involved in the discussion end of october/
beginning of november 2005 about commitment - social creativitiy and
artistic responsablility.
I wonder why that stream suddenly stopped.
Do you think the subject was exhausted?
I don't think so.
For my part, I would like to revive that exchange.
The big challenge (as for all networks based ond a electronic plattform) is
to develop and concentrate on one common ongoing reflection instead of a
(vain) collection of informations.
How could we proceed?
Would an artistic vision be helpful to succeed?
Who is interested in that experiment?
Kind regards
Jürgen


-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: "philippe mairesse" <[log in to unmask]>
An: <[log in to unmask]>
Gesendet: Dienstag, 1. November 2005 20:27
Betreff: Re: Commitment and social creativity


> Hu ,
> what a ...commitment to this "commitiment and social creativity"
> discussion!!
> The fire image that Steve uses takes me back to a recent message from
> David Barry commenting this paper on Aesthetic...David was suggesting
> that differents kinds of fires drives us and can illustrate different
> innovations processes...
>
> My thoughts after this were about the firework side . It reminded me
> of other studies about aethetics of resistance (of hackers for
> example, seen by Peter Case). When David described his youth as a
> firework fan, excited by the mess he triggered among the neighborhood,
> I couldn4t help thinking that this beuty of explosions he refers to is
> linked to defining yourself against others. As explosions and bursting
> are also the fasciniuting parts of fires in fireplaces, I wonder about
> the dimension of "resistance" in any "fire/passionm" motivation : then
> any commitment to an intrisic motivation shoud be partly one of
> opposing to others...Defining which others and what fire would be the
> essence of commitment...and of social creativity?
>
> > As I understand it, Amabilie argues that extrinsic motivation drives
> out
> > intrinsic motivation (at least in part).  So if intrinsic motivation
> is the
> > fire/passion that drives the artist and extrinsic motivation is the
> money
> > your are paid, the desire for the money starts to drive out or get
> in the
> > way of the fire/passion.  The idea is that you start to care about
> and be
> > motivated by the money rather than your passion and thus you lose
> contact
> > with the passion which is the source of artistic creativity.  I think
> > constraints are a completely different issue.  If you can stay
> tapped into
> > the fire/passion then the constraints provide some form/structure
> that guide
> > the fire/passion.  Without constraints you just burn aimlessly.  (I
> note
> > that when I play with idea of constraints with students we always
> find a u
> > shaped curve where some constraints help, but eventually too many
> > constraints undermine creativity.)
> >
> > I think Harvey is saying pretty much the same thing when he talks
> about
> > enabling an artist's passion with the commission.
> >
> > - Steve
> >
> >
> > On 10/31/05 12:47 PM, "Robert Austin" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> > > This discussion is veering close to something that I think might be
> > > an anomaly in psychology research. Let me see if I can connect with
> > > what Mary Jo is asking and raise a related question.
> > >
> > > There's a pretty robust finding in social psychology of creativity
> > > that suggests that when artists work under extrinsic motivation
> > > schemes they produce outcomes that are judged less creative than
> when
> > > motivation is intrinsic (at least on "non-algorithmic" tasks). For
> > > example, Teresa Amabilie, who's done a lot of this research, has a
> > > very interesting study that seems to show that artists working on
> > > commission produce less creative outcomes than when they are not
> > > working on commission. Amabile argues for granting this robust
> > > finding the status of a principle (the "intrinsic motivation
> > > principle" -- "intrinsic motivation is conducive to creativity, but
> > > extrinsic motivation is detrimental" Amabile, 1996). One is
> tempted,
> > > within the current discussion context, to apply the principle
> broadly
> > > to conclude that external intrusions into the work of artists might
> > > be generally unwelcome and thus resisted, whether they are
> > > commitments someone else chooses, or socialization pressures, or
> some
> > > sort of incentive payment.
> > >
> > > On the other hand, many artists work within very rigorous,
> externally
> > > composed constraints. Opening night for a theatre company, for
> > > example. Or the budget, or limitations of materials. These too are
> > > intrusions into the work of external origin.  But some artists I've
> > > interviewed argue that these kinds of constraints can be triggers
> > > that break them through to entirely new kinds of creation.
> > >
> > > Which brings me to a question: What's the difference between the
> > > external intrusions detrimental to artful creation and those that
> act
> > > as triggers to even greater creative breakthroughs?
> > >
> > > Rob
> > >
> > > On Oct 31, 2005, at 12:23 PM, Hatch, Mary Jo wrote:
> > >
> > >> He everyone, I wanted to weigh in on this discussion with a
> > >> question -- should we be considering the need to refuse heavy
> > >> socialization here? Let me explain. What I am thinking about is
> > >> that the artists I have known well (not that many, but a few) have
> > >> all struck me as remarkably free of the need to conform to
> cultural
> > >> expectations, almost a need to work against these in order to see
> > >> beyond the expected to create art. If this is true of lots of
> > >> artists than perhaps what you are discussing as freedom from
> > >> commitment to groups is simply necessistated by avoidance of
> > >> socialization pressures.
> > >>
> > >> Does that lead anywhere?
> > >>
> > >> Jo
> > >>
> > >> Mary Jo Hatch
> > >>
> > >> ________________________________
> > >>
> > >> From: Aesthetics, Creativity, and Organisations Research Network
> on
> > >> behalf of Jürgen Bergmann
> > >> Sent: Mon 10/31/2005 12:38 PM
> > >> To: [log in to unmask]
> > >> Subject: Re: Commitment and social creativity
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> Hi Ken,
> > >> thanks for that answer!
> > >> I completly agree with you,
> > >> and especially with your thougt:
> > >> "It seems to me that refusing commitment as a
> > >>  conditioned reaction does not demonstrate
> > >>  personal independence or artistic freedom."
> > >> What I meant was freedom of commitment.
> > >> Jürgen
> > >>
> > >> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> > >> Von: "Ken Friedman" <[log in to unmask]>
> > >> An: <[log in to unmask]>
> > >> Gesendet: Montag, 31. Oktober 2005 07:55
> > >> Betreff: Commitment and social creativity
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>> Dear Philippe and Jürgen,
> > >>>
> > >>> Thanks for your thoughts. I have puzzled on this
> > >>> for many years. It's clear that this phenomenon
> > >>> describes the actual behavior of artists. What is
> > >>> less clear to me is that this should be so. I'm
> > >>> not asking "why" this is so. I know why it is so.
> > >>> I am asking, rather, whether it is necessarily
> > >>> so. I do not believe that this kind of behavior
> > >>> is necessarily an aspect of creativity or
> > >>> artistry.
> > >>>
> > >>> One of the interesting research streams for a
> > >>> group such as AACORN involves asking what kinds
> > >>> of systems can function as robust artistic
> > >>> networks. So far, I have managed to identify more
> > >>> questions than answers.
> > >>>
> > >>> This is an important issue for artists who hope
> > >>> to generate social change, to influence
> > >>> organizations, or to function in expanded frames
> > >>> of art that transcends the boundaries of a
> > >>> specific physical work. It is also significant
> > >>> for artists who hope to develop or work in
> > >>> organizations -- nonprofit organizations and art
> > >>> organizations as well as businesses. This applies
> > >>> to most artists who do not inherit wealth or have
> > >>> a generous and undemanding patron.
> > >>>
> > >>> I was wrestling with the issue again in a chapter
> > >>> for a recent book from MIT Press titled _At A
> > >>> Distance: Precursors to Internet Art and
> > >>> Activism_. For that chapter, I borrowed a line
> > >>> from Adam Smith to write about "The wealth and
> > >>> poverty of networks."
> > >>>
> > >>> It seems to me that refusing commitment as a
> > >>> conditioned reaction does not demonstrate
> > >>> personal independence or artistic freedom. As a
> > >>> conditioned reaction, refusing to accept any
> > >>> commitment simply because one is requested to
> > >>> make a commitment is a pathological symptom. I'm
> > >>> leaving for Taiwan in a couple of hours, so I
> > >>> will have to think on this for a while before
> > >>> posting again. My intuition, however, is to say
> > >>> that there must be some form of healthy
> > >>> commitment that involves the right balance of
> > >>> social cohesion and personal freedom.
> > >>>
> > >>> Think about some of the great liberation
> > >>> movements of the 20th century -- Hind Swaraj and
> > >>> satyagraha in India, the American civil rights
> > >>> movement, the anti-war movement that finally
> > >>> ended the Viet Nam War, the Velvet Revolution in
> > >>> Czechoslovakia, Solidarity in Poland, the
> > >>> anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. They
> > >>> worked because human beings asked for commitment
> > >>> and other human beings responded by committing
> > >>> themselves.
> > >>>
> > >>> These movements involved social artistry and
> > >>> social creativity, not entirely in the direction
> > >>> that we think of when we speak of "art," but very
> > >>> much in the direction we hope for when artists
> > >>> move toward similar kinds of goals. Consider, for
> > >>> example, Joseph Beuys's movement for direct
> > >>> democracy or the Free International University.
> > >>> The directions were similar, but these artistic
> > >>> networks functioned without commitment, and
> > >>> failed, therefore, to achieve their stated goals.
> > >>>
> > >>> As social sculpture, I'd have a hard time arguing
> > >>> that the movement for direct democracy was more
> > >>> successful than Solidarity in Poland or SNCC (the
> > >>> Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee) in
> > >>> Alabama. In contrast, I have observed
> > >>> significantly higher levels of organizational
> > >>> pathology in art organizations than in creative
> > >>> social organizations.
> > >>>
> > >>> The evidence of organizational learning suggests
> > >>> that commitment, empathy, and trust have a great
> > >>> deal to do with creativity. If this is so, it
> > >>> follows that refusing commitment is not a
> > >>> necessary condition of artistic creativity, but a
> > >>> factor that inhibits creativity in some
> > >>> circumstances and defeats the possibility of
> > >>> artistic achievement in others.
> > >>>
> > >>> Much to think about here.
> > >>>
> > >>> Yours,
> > >>>
> > >>> Ken
> > >>>
> > >>>
> > >>>
> > >>> Philippe Mairesse wrote:
> > >>>
> > >>> Ken,
> > >>> It works!
> > >>> and I must say that receiving, as a test, such a beautiful thing
> > >>> as this
> > >>> catalogue-artwork of yours... is great!
> > >>>
> > >>> I loved your comments about the strength-weakness of
> networks...it
> > >>> reactivated my thoughts about commitment and volunteering, as
> seen
> > >>> in art
> > >>> activities: my observation is that artists commit themselves only
> > >>> when
> > >>>
> > >> they
> > >>
> > >>> are totally free of any commitment...it could explain the no-feed
> > >>> back you
> > >>> got : since people were ASKED to return the books... they
> precisely
> > >>> didn't...The difficulty is : how to get what you want without
> > >>> asking for
> > >>>
> > >> it.
> > >>
> > >>> This seems to be a necessary condition for collaborative working
> in
> > >>> art...and maybe everywhere else (love)
> > >>> (breeding)(teaching)(caring)(living)(dying?)
> > >>>
> > >>> --
> > >>>
> > >>> Jürgen Bergmann wrote:
> > >>>
> > >>> Hi Philippe,
> > >>> you got it!
> > >>> This is exactly the reason
> > >>> why it is so difficult
> > >>> to realise real artwork
> > >>> within the business context.
> > >>>
> > >>> The result is in general
> > >>> nothing else as follows:
> > >>>
> > >>> " Le projet sera d'un caractère unique à travers
> > >>> un projet d'art exceptionnel que réaliseront des
> > >>> artistes de renommé. En collaboration étroite
> > >>> avec les architectes, les paysagistes et les
> > >>> maîtres d'ouvrage l'aménagement prendra un aspect
> > >>> sans pareil."
> > >>>
> > >>> This kind of artistic commitment
> > >>> is not soustainable
> > >>> and dilutes conscience
> > >>> in commercial opportunism.
> > >>>
> > >>> The lack of futur
> > >>> now
> > >>> is the decadence
> > >>> of a value system
> > >>> without values.
> > >>>
> > >>>
> > >>
> > >
> > > Robert Austin
> > > Technology and Operations Management
> > > Harvard Business School
> > > [log in to unmask]
> >
> > --
> > Steven S. Taylor, PhD
> > Assistant Professor
> > Worcester Polytechnic Institute
> > Department of Management
> > 100 Institute Rd
> > Worcester, MA 01609
> > USA
> >
> >
>
> --
>
>

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