Agency – Creativity and Cognitive Development – 28/01/2016

In the first constellation session for ‘Creativity and Cognitive Development’ we were introduced to the idea of ‘hylomorphism’ and how physical objects are composed of matter and form as a result of the relationship between a creator and their material. This is a theological theory from the 19th century that was influenced by the Greek idea that we as humans are second only to God and we control nearly everything we come into contact with. We were then introduced to the idea of ‘agency’ and that there are other aspects that can affect our outcomes in creating. We were given a piece of text written by Ingold that explained this to us using the example of students on a beach creating woven willow baskets and how their outcomes were affected by the elements as well as their own skills. This was a perspective I could relate to in my own practice as an illustrator since I use tools which can run out or break. For example I could be using an ink pen one day and it could be working the exact way I want it to but the day after I could return to the pen and it could have run out of ink and due to the nature of the pen I’m unable to refill it and therefore my work and outcome has been interrupted and affected. I’m still able to use the pen but the fact it has run out of ink is out of my control. I personally see the idea of agency as a triangle consisting of ‘Material’ , ‘People/Creator’ and ‘Environment’, I can relate this to my own experiences as the idea of environment being all the factors that I can’t control myself for example someone leaving the window open in the university student and the wind coming through and blowing paper over wet ink on a page.

The text by Ingold also reinforced the idea that the process of creating something is more informative and helpful that being told how to create something, for example being told how to draw something won’t really help you unless you actually go exert it and draw for yourself and experience what can go wrong in creating.

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