avoid being creative

Following on from my plea yesterday to be light-hearted and playful, here’s some writing by William Deresiewicz (I’m a fan and if you are interested, Excellent Sheep is a very fine read):

“Creativity” means design thinking, in the terms articulated by the writer Amy Whitaker, not art thinking: getting from A to a predetermined B, not engaging in an open-ended exploratory process in the course of which you discover the B.


If you are at all interested in the state of higher education in the (western) world this is an important read. And if you are not, then it’s important because it has implications for how you might allow yourselves to become artists in neoliberal times.

  • What might the “B” be?
  • What might this process look, feel and be like, and how might it change?

So, how might you not predetermine B and how might you (as Deborah Hay says) not let your creativity get in the way of practice?

up until now

An interview with Deborah Hay. I’m posting it here not so much because of Hay’s interest in particular kinds of practices but because of how central the principle (or perhaps concept) of practice is to her work.

We want to hold on, we want to know, if we do this much more … if you could just get it. What if we could learn not to grasp … or try and hold on …

Husemann, Hay, process and practice

Just thinking a little bit about process and outcomes:

Their aim is not to repeatedly improve a work until it has reached its final state and to defend an unfinished work against possible critique. On the contrary, these projects call for thinking in different categories, which does not focus on the aesthetics of a full-length evening programme, but which considers the working process as an integral part or even as the essence of the performance.

— Pirkko Husemann, The Absent Presence of Artistic Working Processes. The Lecture as Format of Performance. http://www.unfriendly-takeover.de/downloads/f14_husemann_engl.pdf Here it is instead: f14_husemann_engl

And these were Deborah Hay’s precise words:

what I am learning is that my choreography is 90 percent the practice