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RADICAL ANIMAL
Constructing the Creative Self
PAT KANE, THEPLAYETHIC.COM
Lecture plan
■ The creative/innovative imperative
■ The critique of the creative/innovative imperative
■ Beyond critical t...
The Creative/Innovative Imperative
The Creative/Innovative Imperative
The Creative/Innovative Imperative
18 items. 10 food (3 main course, dessert 2. 5 are snacks - 3 of those are healthy snac...
The Creative/Innovative Imperative
Odour and aromas is a cross-product anxiety - does your house smell
like cats, does you...
The Creative/Innovative Imperative
The Creative/Innovative
Imperative
Much anxiety about data-driven “short-term” advertising
campaigns – undercutting more “...
The Creative/Innovative
Imperative
• Creativity (ie originality)
• Co-creation (inviting consumer to
contribute to the cam...
Creativity/innovation yes…
but in service of what, other
than bottom line of a brand?
Lecture plan
■ The creative/innovative imperative
■ The critique of the creative/innovative imperative
■ Beyond critical t...
The critique of the creative/innovative imperative
Core critique of these books (also sent through Twitter!)
The rise of i...
The critique of the creative/innovative imperative
A life of creativity/innovation also comes along with an
embrace of pre...
The critique of the creative/innovative imperative
Not just ”creatives” who experience precarious
working lives... But the...
Lecture plan
■ The creative/innovative imperative
■ The critique of the creative/innovative imperative
■ Beyond critical t...
Beyond critical theory – towards a politics of
human nature
Can we “critique” and ”demystify” our
way out of this one (we ...
Beyond critical theory – towards a politics
of human nature
Post-Brexit, it’s politically important to find a
new popular ...
Lecture plan
■ The creative/innovative imperative
■ The critique of the creative/innovative imperative
■ Beyond critical t...
Play as the deep and evolved foundation of
creativity: primary emotions
Antonio Damasio (plus Trust/Anticipation, Ekman)
•...
Play as the deep and evolved foundation
of creativity
Jaak Panksepp
- ”Archaeology
of Mind”
- Opiates,
areas
stimulated –
...
Play as the deep and evolved foundation
of creativity
Bateson and Martin:
- Play is “fun” – spontaneous and
intrinsically ...
Play as the deep and evolved foundation
of creativity
Bateson and Martin:
Identify playful play & playfulness as the
mood ...
Play as the deep and evolved foundation
of creativity
Bateson and Martin:
Playful play contributes most to creativity –
cr...
Play as the deep and evolved foundation of
creativity
PLAY/CREATIVITY/JOY IS
BEGINNING TO FIND ITS
SECURE PLACE IN THE
SOL...
Play as the deep and evolved foundation of
creativity (Nudge is not enough…)
“Think of Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame as
some...
Lecture plan
■ The creative/innovative imperative
■ The critique of the creative/innovative imperative
■ Beyond critical t...
The societal "grounds of play"
What kind of society does the
findings of affective neuroscience,
or neuroscience-informed
...
The societal "grounds of play"
You can’t answer the play-drive in
isolation (with Arts! Free time! Basic
income!)
-- And e...
The societal "grounds of play"
But if we give all the
other drives their
evolutionary due,
then we must value
play for wha...
The societal "grounds of play"
VALUE THE ONES WE KNOW:
• Education at all levels, 3-to-7 play-
based kindergarten
• An ope...
The societal "grounds of play"
CREATE NEW PLAYZONES:
• Argue for an open, common,
expressive dimension in every new
tech p...
The playground has (planetary) limits
Can we make better choices with our innate ingenuity, love of novelty,
colour and fo...
PLAY-ETHICS IN A WORLD OF ECOLOGICAL CRISIS ARE NOT EASY.... TAKE
STUART BRAND
IN 60'S/70's BRAND EASILY FUSED
DEVELOPMENT...
STUART BRAND
1968 WHOLE EARTH CATALOG:
“WE ARE AS GODS AND WE
MIGHT AS WELL GET GOOD AT
IT”
(DIY, SMALL-IS-BEAUTIFUL, SOFT...
'Human activities increasingly dominate 9 crucial planetary systems. Add to the familiar ones---
climate, biodiversity, an...
BELIEVES THAT WITH OUR WEB AND
“NOOSPHERE” OF INFORMATION-PLUS-
COMMUNITY-PARTICIPATION, WE HAVE
THE POSSIBILITY OF “GIVIN...
We “radical animals”
Even Harari’s view of all life driven by
algorithms, where machine intelligence
outstrips our own…
.....
We “radical animals”
It might be fruitful to explore the
crossover between:
Play – a zone for safely exploring all
possibi...
Question:
How does play, creativity and
innovation relate? Where does
spontaneity end, and control
begin?
Question:
If we understood the evolutionary
role of play better, how might we
change our societies, economies
and ourselve...
Question:
How radical can play be? If play
means ALL possibilities can be
lightly considered, what horrors
as well as deli...
RADICAL ANIMAL
Constructing the Creative Self
PAT KANE, THEPLAYETHIC.COM
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"Radical Animal: Constructing the Creative Self" - Pat Kane

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Slides to my lecture to the Kings' College Literature And Arts Festival, "PLAY", delivered on Wed, October 12th, 2016. For more on this, please visit www.theplayethic.com

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"Radical Animal: Constructing the Creative Self" - Pat Kane

  1. 1. RADICAL ANIMAL Constructing the Creative Self PAT KANE, THEPLAYETHIC.COM
  2. 2. Lecture plan ■ The creative/innovative imperative ■ The critique of the creative/innovative imperative ■ Beyond critical theory – towards a politics of human nature ■ Play as the deep and evolved foundation of creativity ■ The societal "grounds of play" ■ The playground has (planetary) limits ■ We radical animals
  3. 3. The Creative/Innovative Imperative
  4. 4. The Creative/Innovative Imperative
  5. 5. The Creative/Innovative Imperative 18 items. 10 food (3 main course, dessert 2. 5 are snacks - 3 of those are healthy snacks/ Oscar Meyer: “It’s not snack food. It’s real food to snack on” Skinny Pop Popcorn “We believe in snacking without compromise”. Many of them associated with countries - Bai is Mandarin for “pure”, there’s Italian ice-creams and main courses, Greek yoghurts, The rest are animal care, domestic products, medication, cosmetics.
  6. 6. The Creative/Innovative Imperative Odour and aromas is a cross-product anxiety - does your house smell like cats, does your dogs breath smell, do your clothes smell fresh… There’s even a wax melt that Romans would recognise it (both wax and historic design on the jar). The medication is heartburn (to deal with all the stuff we’ve eaten)… and anti-allergy (to deal with all the stuff thrown up into the biosphere to make the stuff we’ve eaten)… This is a picture of creativity and innovation - in it own way, powerfully poetic, mythic - products promise “indulgences” and “miracles” One of the laundry products is called a “gain fling”. Bai: “Flavor is a promise to not be dull. A commitment to break from convention. To never conform. To be full of flavor, is to be full of life. It is the result of all the labor — of every choice, every decision — that got us to where we are at this exact moment.”
  7. 7. The Creative/Innovative Imperative
  8. 8. The Creative/Innovative Imperative Much anxiety about data-driven “short-term” advertising campaigns – undercutting more “creative” long-term campaigns Creative campaigns (non-creative campaigns) are ones that win awards from peers – but this report has been showing that they several times more “efficient” as a budget spend, because of the amount of sales they generate over a longer period, often years. Two features that define a creative campaign - The “Fame” effect: “campaigns that create buzz around the brand, encouraging online and offine conversations. - “These campaigns are, almost without exception, essentially emotional in nature and therefore tend to work more powerfully over the long term.”
  9. 9. The Creative/Innovative Imperative • Creativity (ie originality) • Co-creation (inviting consumer to contribute to the campaign) • Breaking rules and taboos of the category (often being "naughty") • Association with a motivating or provocative social cause that adds a new dimension to the brand • Unexpected juxtapositions of idea and medium (seeing ads in unusual contexts) • Unexpected use of celebrities (in a way that is surprising) • Extreme humour
  10. 10. Creativity/innovation yes… but in service of what, other than bottom line of a brand?
  11. 11. Lecture plan ■ The creative/innovative imperative ■ The critique of the creative/innovative imperative ■ Beyond critical theory – towards a politics of human nature ■ Play as the deep and evolved foundation of creativity ■ The societal "grounds of play" ■ The playground has (planetary) limits ■ We radical animals
  12. 12. The critique of the creative/innovative imperative Core critique of these books (also sent through Twitter!) The rise of idea of “creativity” & “innovation” as a guide for your life and career… …complements perfectly a life under the current form of neo-liberal capitalism... ...because neo-liberalism urges us to constantly control, govern and discipline ourselves, for peak market performance... ...& creativity/innovation, as an identity, makes us love & embrace that process deeply – calling it craft, dedication
  13. 13. The critique of the creative/innovative imperative A life of creativity/innovation also comes along with an embrace of precarity and instability… ...a disdain for the any kind of career path through an organisation or occupation... ...throwing one’s self into the ”gig economy” – where you are freer to join and leave ”projects”... ... but have no back-up in terms of sick pay, paid holidays, employee rights, etc. “What does a union even mean to me?”
  14. 14. The critique of the creative/innovative imperative Not just ”creatives” who experience precarious working lives... But they are in the vanguard of pushing big-picture, systemic responses to flexible, multi-purpose lives... Ideas are not necessarily new (Tom Paine? William Morris? Andre Gorz?) • Universal basic income or citizen’s income • Shorter working weeks • Prioritising zero-marginal cost production ...All being trialled now in Europe, US. Will they catch on/be successful? There’s the problem...
  15. 15. Lecture plan ■ The creative/innovative imperative ■ The critique of the creative/innovative imperative ■ Beyond critical theory – towards a politics of human nature ■ Play as the deep and evolved foundation of creativity ■ The societal "grounds of play" ■ The playground has (planetary) limits ■ We radical animals
  16. 16. Beyond critical theory – towards a politics of human nature Can we “critique” and ”demystify” our way out of this one (we can try…) Alan Finlayson: not “What Is To Be Done?” but ”What IS this? What Is HERE?” Cognitive-rational address not enough Need to go directly to emotional level – risk/security, fear/confidence, care, anger…
  17. 17. Beyond critical theory – towards a politics of human nature Post-Brexit, it’s politically important to find a new popular discourse around creativity/innovation… In danger of becoming a very damaging polarisation between - Flexible, urban/city, cosmopolitan, capacious - creative - Inflexible, suburban/town, monocultural, recalcitrant – routinized Need some new accounts of SHARED, COMMON human nature – that have authority
  18. 18. Lecture plan ■ The creative/innovative imperative ■ The critique of the creative/innovative imperative ■ Beyond critical theory – towards a politics of human nature ■ Play as the deep and evolved foundation of creativity ■ The societal "grounds of play" ■ The playground has (planetary) limits ■ We radical animals
  19. 19. Play as the deep and evolved foundation of creativity: primary emotions Antonio Damasio (plus Trust/Anticipation, Ekman) •Adequate nutrition, air, water and shelter from the elements •Safety and security •Emotional connection •Fun, friendship and intimacy •A sense of belonging to a wider community •A measure of control and autonomy •Attention (to give and receive) •Status in life (which comes from having stretched ourselves and achieved things) •Meaning and purpose The ”Human Givens” Model - see Tyrell and Griffin
  20. 20. Play as the deep and evolved foundation of creativity Jaak Panksepp - ”Archaeology of Mind” - Opiates, areas stimulated – produce same effects in the mammal brain
  21. 21. Play as the deep and evolved foundation of creativity Bateson and Martin: - Play is “fun” – spontaneous and intrinsically rewarding - Players are protected from normal consequences of serious behaviour - Play generates novelty (role play, new combinations - Play looks different to normal behaviour - Play indicates well-being (only happens when organism is free from illness or stress)
  22. 22. Play as the deep and evolved foundation of creativity Bateson and Martin: Identify playful play & playfulness as the mood state that’s most optimum for creativity (some play can of course slide into aggression, powergames) Mood state: cheerful, frisky, frolicsome, good-natured, joyous, merry, rollicking spirited, sprightly and vivacious…
  23. 23. Play as the deep and evolved foundation of creativity Bateson and Martin: Playful play contributes most to creativity – creativity defined as the generation of novel actions and ideas, by recombining elements in new ways, or apply them to to new situations. NOT the same as innovation – which winnows out new ideas, and takes on the hard work of successfully implementing and spreading them, in orgs or society.
  24. 24. Play as the deep and evolved foundation of creativity PLAY/CREATIVITY/JOY IS BEGINNING TO FIND ITS SECURE PLACE IN THE SOLIDIFYING MAPS OF EVOLVED HUMAN NATURE AND BEHAVIOUR (FROM AFFECTIVE NEUROSCIENCE & OTHER AREAS) WE NEED TO PLAY AND CREATE – OTHERWISE, WE DENY OUR BASIC EMOTIONAL NEEDS
  25. 25. Play as the deep and evolved foundation of creativity (Nudge is not enough…) “Think of Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame as someone whose Reflective System is always in control … In contrast, Homer Simpson seems to have forgotten where he put his Reflective System” (driven by his “instinctive Automatic System”) [from Nudge, Thaler/Sunstein] …whereas Lisa – imaginative, idealistic, enthusiastic, expressive, - engages her WHOLE system, through play/art/activism
  26. 26. Lecture plan ■ The creative/innovative imperative ■ The critique of the creative/innovative imperative ■ Beyond critical theory – towards a politics of human nature ■ Play as the deep and evolved foundation of creativity ■ The societal "grounds of play" ■ The playground has (planetary) limits ■ We radical animals
  27. 27. The societal "grounds of play" What kind of society does the findings of affective neuroscience, or neuroscience-informed psychotherapy and psychology, suggest? One in which primary, evolved emotions and drives are given their rich and complex due… ...which is different from them being manipulated (truth doesn’t come into it)
  28. 28. The societal "grounds of play" You can’t answer the play-drive in isolation (with Arts! Free time! Basic income!) -- And expect it to redress and fix maltreatment of the rest of the drives… Panksepp’s (crude) model of primary drives is still a symphony– care but also rage, panic/fear but also seeking/lust.. “Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made” (Kant)
  29. 29. The societal "grounds of play" But if we give all the other drives their evolutionary due, then we must value play for what it is--- -—Which is a zone of time and space, where we can lightly handle and toy with the heavy imperatives of human existence… ....In order to refine our responses better, or seek out new niches when current options have closed down. What are these “play zones”? Or “grounds of play”?
  30. 30. The societal "grounds of play" VALUE THE ONES WE KNOW: • Education at all levels, 3-to-7 play- based kindergarten • An open web supporting mass self- expression • Festivals and carnivals – zones and grounds (like this one!) where people come together to enjoy boundaries blurring, challenges • The arts and cultural sectors and their subsidies • Primary science – Andre Geim, Hawking, etc – and its subsidy
  31. 31. The societal "grounds of play" CREATE NEW PLAYZONES: • Argue for an open, common, expressive dimension in every new tech platform – particularly in AR and VR • Playzones alongside Carezones – what new combinations of security and risk can we imagine in society? In welfare, housing, making/enterprise? • How could our vast archive of creative techniques be brought to bear on our broken politics? New forms of democracy/parties?
  32. 32. The playground has (planetary) limits Can we make better choices with our innate ingenuity, love of novelty, colour and form, endlessly ramifying appetites, vast systemic capacity…?
  33. 33. PLAY-ETHICS IN A WORLD OF ECOLOGICAL CRISIS ARE NOT EASY.... TAKE STUART BRAND IN 60'S/70's BRAND EASILY FUSED DEVELOPMENTAL, HEALTHY, NATURAL PLAY (MERRY PRANKSTERS, NEW GAMES MOVEMENT, COMMUNAL LIVING)... ....WITH TECHNOLOGICAL, ABSTRACT, UNNATURAL PLAY (COMPUTERS & NETS, ARCHITECTURE/URBANISM, ALT. ENERGY, BUSINESS CONSULTANCY) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTAuLsJDyWI LSD? The playground has (planetary) limits
  34. 34. STUART BRAND 1968 WHOLE EARTH CATALOG: “WE ARE AS GODS AND WE MIGHT AS WELL GET GOOD AT IT” (DIY, SMALL-IS-BEAUTIFUL, SOFT TECHNOLOGY) 2009 WHOLE EARTH DISCIPLINE: “WE ARE AS GODS AND WE MUST GET GOOD AT IT” (NUCLEAR POWER, GENE- TECH, TERRA-FORMING) IS HE NOW RIGHT? WRONG? BUT RECONCILING NATURAL AND UNNATURAL PLAY OF HUMANITY IS VERY DIFFICULT... NATURAL AND UNNATURAL PLAY COME TOGETHER IN ONE SLOGAN...
  35. 35. 'Human activities increasingly dominate 9 crucial planetary systems. Add to the familiar ones--- climate, biodiversity, and chemical pollution---atmospheric aerosols, ocean acidification, excess nitrogen in agriculture, too much land in agriculture, freshwater scarcity, and ozone depletion. To have "a safe operating space for humanity" on Earth requires adjusting our behavior to work within those systems. How we collectively step up to that responsibility will determine whether "the Anthropocene" (the current geological era shaped by humans) will be a tragedy or humanity's greatest accomplishment.” … BUT LYNAS' INNOVATION PLAYGROUND IS SECURED BY PRO-NUKES, PRO-GEO- ENGINEERING, PRO-”PROSPERITY”-AS-MATERIAL-ACCUMULATION HEROIC, “RATIONALIST”, INDIVIDUALIST, GREEN-BAITING DISCOURSE The playground has (planetary) limits
  36. 36. BELIEVES THAT WITH OUR WEB AND “NOOSPHERE” OF INFORMATION-PLUS- COMMUNITY-PARTICIPATION, WE HAVE THE POSSIBILITY OF “GIVING GAIA ITS MOMENT OF META-AWARE SELF- CONSCIOUSNESS” - OF BEING GAIAS BRAIN... BUT FLANNERY IS POST-INDIVIDUALIST – WE ARE “GREEDY APES”, TOO WEAK TO BE HUNTER-GATHERERS, NEEDING OUR SOCIAL CODES (AND DIVISIONS OF LABOUR) TO GET ANYTHING WORTHWHILE DONE – JUMPED-UP SUPERORGANISMS WHO HAVE TO ATTAIN A MODICUM OF PLANETARY ETHICS... The playground has (planetary) limits
  37. 37. We “radical animals” Even Harari’s view of all life driven by algorithms, where machine intelligence outstrips our own… ...stumbles at the door of consciousness. “My test for whether something is real: Does it suffer?” Yet we are also the animal that can percieive our own limitations – and then play with those limits...
  38. 38. We “radical animals” It might be fruitful to explore the crossover between: Play – a zone for safely exploring all possibilities Mindfulness/non-reactivity – a way to use consciousness to observe our evolved mechanisms Though someone might have gotten there first…
  39. 39. Question: How does play, creativity and innovation relate? Where does spontaneity end, and control begin?
  40. 40. Question: If we understood the evolutionary role of play better, how might we change our societies, economies and ourselves?
  41. 41. Question: How radical can play be? If play means ALL possibilities can be lightly considered, what horrors as well as delights may ensue?
  42. 42. RADICAL ANIMAL Constructing the Creative Self PAT KANE, THEPLAYETHIC.COM

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