Sticky Notes of Thoughts

…because some thoughts are worth remembering

On Creativity and Surroundings


In How Music Works, David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame), there was a passage about an insight he had about creation:

“Context largely determines what is written, painted, sculpted, sung or performed.”

It is a less romantic notion of creativity, where we imagine creativity originating from some essence internal to us: an emotion, an identity.

I then recalled an article by David Kadavy, the author of Design for Hackers, about having a mini-life instead of traveling. Since he worked remotely, he could rent an furnished apartment with wifi and continue his life anywhere in the world. He described about one of the advantages this way:

“When you force yourself to live in a different place and culture, you begin to notice which traits of yours are inherently yours and which traits are just the product of your surroundings.”

Is this why artists went on retreats to focus on their craft and creations?

I knew in my heart Wagner was wrong about people without a homeland could not have a musical voice (a prejudiced comment he meant to disparage Jewish composers), that perhaps in losing our homeland can lead to a more fundamental voice.

Photo: Sand sculpture exhibition in Aarhus, Denmark (Did Little Mermaid have a difference voice under the sea vs. on land?)


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This entry was posted on July 5, 2015 by in Art, Culture, Identity, Travel and tagged , , , , , .
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