Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 19 January 2007

Model 18

The Participatory Art and Design Models 

Many people have noticed how performance has been stripped from ordinary lives and concentrated in immensely rich “talents” in Hollywood and other entertainment centers. Millions and tens of millions of families do not perform, do not have members performing for each other–all gather around broadcast instruments, like TVs, and watch others perform. Ordinary lives thus stripped of the expressive possibilities of performance turn hatefilled, bitter, or suicidal at times. Explosive rages run unchecked. All because ordinary feelings are not tapped constructively in regular chances to perform before friends and family. This paucity of performance is also a paucity of art. Society and itsmembers lose the chance for reflection and recognition of what is going on in self and others (Greene, Journal, February, 1999).  

The participatory art and design models of creativity view creativity this way too–as something tragically concentrated in immensely famous and rich “talents” at a cost of stripping it from ordinary lives. They see the structures of civilization as designed to produce such concentrations of creativity in a few at the cost of stripping it from nearly everyone. They identify the potentials everyone has for being creative and test channels for developing “everyman” creativity that can rival “lone rare genius” creativity (Montuori et al, 1999; Segel, 1987; Green, 1986; Kohn, 1993). Much of this involves group forms of invention, group forms of imagining, that violate the myth of the individuality of creation (Michelangelo, for example, had his work specified, checked, and corrected by committees of concerned citizens, rather than doing what he wanted alone).* 

*Um…Whatever.  I still have a problem with art ‘experts’ or a committee informing an artist’s work, oftimes it’s just intrusive.  A committee of other practicing artists maybe. 

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