Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 19 January 2007

Model 16

The Social Movement Model

A particular type of social computation computes a social trend or movement from supersaturated interests or frustrations among a population of people (Marcus and Fisher, 1986; Greene, Journal, March 1997; Horsehairs, 1988; Goliard and D’andria, 1999; Arendt, 1985).  Invisible frustration or hope builds up till some tiny one initial event suddenly releases it in the form of a social movement. (We can see strong hints of non-linear systems phenomena here but this is not the place to notice or talk about them in detail, see the system type models below). If we take Einstein and Picasso as exemplars, the social movement model can be easily seen. Picasso virtually designed, launched, and managed his own pro-Picasso social movement among artists and art buyers. For years he gave away hundreds of his works, then later toured Europe setting up exhibitions locally of works local people had in their possession. He distributed his works, then formed those local clumps of works into publicity through local exhibitions, upping his profile and the value of his well-distributed works. Einstein did not release three scientific papers and sit back letting people respond. He very actively toured and talked, working tirelessly to get others to convert to his new way of seeing the physics of the world. He recruited people constantly to relativity, rather than standing back and letting the discourse take its own way. It took this organizing to get critical masses of interest sufficient to fund major tests of his theory (like the1919 star’s gravity bending light rays test).

One of the very best examples of this model is Sigmund Freud. He had the choice of persuading practitioners in his field or creating his own field. He chose the latter and after ten years of effort, succeeded in creating a new field of  psychoanalysis, more or less by social movementbuilding tactics.

Creative works are small scale or large scale social movements in this way. They are not “let’s change the world” type social movements butrather “the world has changed into this new way” type (or “let’s see the world this way, not that old way”).

It is worth noting that Kuhn’s famous paradigm change model of the history of science, can be re-expressed quite well and simply in creativity as social movement form. When latent frustration with models in a field rises greatly even tiny “inventions” may spawn massive defectionfrom such models in favor of entirely new ones.



  1. […] *Right 14 stays a no, naming it a Systems model under the Social Type was misleading – just had to reread it again taking in his explanation. So maybe it’s 13-Community of Ideas Model [which was a no also-seems I left out 4 of the 6 ‘Social Types’ on initial choosing. I wonder why? lmao.] The Space Sharing or collaboration model [17-one of the two left] is close to 13 in that it fosters a community of ideas, but at this level one has already begun to cross into sub-creation…maybe though this is what I am looking for. Have to decide or do I? It’s possible that anything beyond the Self and Mind Type Models chosen would only pertain to a group used to investigate the phenomenology of subjective experiene within the creative act OR 13 would pertain to as he said the ‘most elemental of the social models’ and can speak to general creativity and 17 would pertain to an already directed self-making model creativity. Dum de dum….Ugh! Which do I need NOW. Well, as always the thing needed now is the thing that has the most future potential, makes no sense to dally with the general. This is directed toward something. So, it’s 17 then…It is the one that would pertain to an artist that is more aware of their process and are beginning to [directedly] create the ‘Social’ life necessary for their ideas to grow. And less directedly [is that a word?] than 16, the other of the two, which addresses social pressures for paradigm change. And to be noted: Greene is not speaking of a individual or person directed move toward collaboration or shared space but more of a thing that happens.  [A view of the social type as solely directed from the outside].  What I will be speaking of though is the [or my] artist world interpretation of a sub-creation move that is taken quite frequently. Especially the thing that feeds my irritation when I think of Kahlo, Claudel and can’t sometimes remember the name of Pollack’s wife-Lee Kranser [This would then be a view of the social type as somewhere between 16 and 17-dynamically fostered by both individual intentions and the synchronicity of shared space or tools outside of an aware sharing of space or collaboration.] For each Type so far […]

  2. […] Models 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 16, 17, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42. […]


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