Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Media Operations & Creativity

Is creativity born or developed? According to a Harvard study 85% is learned knowledge. So why don't we feel creative? This thought and question guided me to the following thoughts and discussion...

New media objects are rarely created from scratch. In many ways we build upon what is originally created. Essentially we are recreating digital art all the time. One of the examples used in out text talks about layouts. I think about all of the creative layouts, brochures, pamphlets, and other paraphernalia for the Office of Student Life. 100% of them are made from layouts. Layouts that were pre-made by my Mac designers.

Now, it isn't that I don't have the skills to create my own layouts, but it is so much easier to just go online, download a template and input the data. The operation in itself makes the process more efficient and although we don't make the ideas from scratch, we still feel like 'authors' of our own media objects or experiences.

The Renaissance Artist brings a completely new world into existence. The modern artist or consumer may only be reproducing these worlds, but through digital media we are modifying and creating. So in a sense we are creative through our experiences. I learned recently about a syndrome called the Pike Syndrome.

The pike is a fierce carnivorous fish that eats smaller fish. In the experiment, scientists placed the pike and its smaller fish that it eats in a tank with an invisible plastic barrier between the the fishes. The hungry pike smashes itself against the class attempting to eat the smaller fish. After many attempts it becomes discouraged and sinks to the bottom. Even after the barrier is removed from the tank the pike doesn't move and eventually dies of starvation.

This phenomenon is known as the Pike Syndrome and it shows that we can become paralyzed by imaginary barriers. We may not even consider a whole set of possible solutions due to fear or some other made-up obstacle. It also helps us realize that we need to respond to changes in the environment. If the pike had simply responded to change once the barrier was removed, he would be fat, dumb, and happy. Instead he starved to death since he held onto an assumption (the smaller fish were unreachable) even when the realities of the situation had dramatically changed.

It is up to us to unleash creativity. We have the means, tools, and the opportunity. Media portals give us these opportunities.


  1. Interesting post, and very much relates to what we covered in our last class on sampling and remix.

  2. The example with the pike was something i had never heard about before looking into it. I think it would be a good point for a leadership workshop.