“Painting picture by picture, I followed the impressions my eye took in at heightened moments. I painted only memories, adding nothing, no details that I did not see. Hence the simplicity of the paintings, their emptiness.”-Edvard Munch
Norway’s symbolist painter Edvard Munch expressed his tormented state of mind through his paintings and his writings. Psychomachia or the war within the soul surfaced in all his works andcreated deeply personal yet strangely beautiful dark graphic visuals.
On the other hand, when we read some of the translations from the Zhuangzi (476-221 BC)- thebook of ancient Chinese texts consisting of fables, poems, allegories and stories-the peculiar imagination and the rather wild flow of transformative thoughtstransport us to another universe.
When we study such works in the current context of wanting to quickly sift through ideas, images, words or sounds we are endeavoring to devise a new way of releasing newly awakened ideas. We are attempting to envision and create a new discipline through the multiple acts of looking, investigating, interpreting visual drafts by flipping sensations or integrating sensory modalities in our work. We begin by looking for physical presences of ideas and thus gathering pictorial blueprints and during the process we realize that our ideas are more like the senses than mental images. Our ideas become embedded in visual language that is shaped and lighted by engaging our consciousness to colors, textures, space, culture, ethics and memories and thusour personal universe is projected through narratives that are evocative and honest.
Charles Darwin showed us how new species could evolve through a process of blind variation and selective retention. Following a similar principle, American social scientist Donald Campbell argued that such a model could be used for the creative thought process. Whilst Campbell was apprehensive that the term blind could cause some problems-he and others after him have considered using terms such as chance, aleatoric, unrestricted, fortuitous as alternatives for “blind”. There is always something blind, random and spontaneous in a true creative process.
So let us all open our eyes, one at a time and view the world and see what perhaps no one else is seeing. Let us shift meanings, perspectives and become aware of the possibilities. Let us learn how to see and connect the unconnected and make our thoughts visible. Let us model creative thoughts by transforming the world around us.