Interesting ideas come from unlikely sources. Like an exploding shed.
Some people will never ‘get’ our ‘Antics series’ of blogs.
Rikyu, the most celebrated Japanese Tea Master ( there you go) was said to have chosen the art to be appreciated at his tea ceremonies such that only one in a thousand would truly understand it. While I could never aspire to this level of greatness I would also hope that more people than this can make the connection.
A line in the sand
Some people take things literally they look at a line in the sand and it is simply a line in the sand. Others see endless possibilities. If you gather a group of children round your line in the sand they will quickly turn it into a game, a story, a starting point. They will add to it, imagine with it, and move it to another place. They have the ability to be creative. It ceases to be a line in the sand.
Constrained by convention
We can all play when we loosen up a bit and allow ourselves to be creative. However, how quickly we become constrained by conventions. Just look at the way we conform to fashion. Young people out on the town are almost in a uniform. Colours (or should I say shades of black), styles and brand have to conform. As the red carpet police cast their critical eyes and comments over the Oscar attendees they have a narrow band of appreciation of what they should and should not be wearing. Go to any event where people have a free choice about what they wear and notice that they haven’t.
None of this is an issue unless we want to encourage people to be creative, to find better ways of doing things, to be innovative. If we tend to conform to convention all the time we lose the skills needed to see endless possibility.
The missing link
The skill of the Paradigmeer is to link seemingly unrelated ideas to create a new possibility. Isaac Newton – a falling apple becomes gravity; Barnes Wallace – a skimming stone becomes a bouncing bomb; Spencer Silver – a failed development becomes the post-it note; Archimedes – bath time inspires reliable measurement of volume. This is catalytic thinking; the ability to generate light bulb moments which can cause seismic shifts in the way we do things.
So welcome to Antics. This is about exploring the possibility of endless possibility by considering things that we don’t usually consider and applying them to our work.
Catalytic thinking or not. If you have to ask ‘what’s this about then?’ well you haven’t got it and so it’s simply a bit of fun.
An exploding shed?
The exploding shed is actually a piece of sculpture by Cornelia Parker called An Exploded View (1991).
‘The work began life as an ordinary garden shed. Parker scoured friends’ sheds, attics, car-boot sales, finding typical objects to fill it, and then asked the British Army to blow the whole lot up. She collected the wreckage and reassembled it as a formalised constellation of suspended fragments, frozen as if at the moment of detonation. The smallest elements, such as toy cars and a crushed tin can are nearest the centre. Larger pieces such as shattered planks of wood and a bicycle wheel are at the edges. A single light bulb at the centre of the orbiting debris throws shadows onto the surrounding walls.
I saw it at the Tate Modern, and it is bloody brilliant! But no, it didn’t make me want to blow up my shed: The ideas it created have sat in my brain waiting for the time when they might create a connection. Like now, as interesting metaphor for a blog!