Trying Not To Think

So far the Sean Kernan Master Class on Creativity for Masters has been about not thinking. It's been about dancing and meditation, about motion and cooperation, about focus and watching. Exercises abound to get us out of our heads and out of our own way. We've thrown a variety of imaginary balls (including tennis, soft, foot, volley, and beach) around a parking lot. We've had a tug-of-war with an imaginary rope. We've moved around a room attempting to form an equilateral triangle with two other members of our class that we've secretly picked (hard to explain - good spot for a video example?)

We've interpreted random music and prose with extemporaneous dance and a bit of acting. And today we did a series of exercises dealing with movement and gesture and cooperation using something called Viewpoints as developed by stage director Anne Bogart. I "cooperated" with John Paul Caponigro in an exercise where we took turns supporting various percentages of our partners body weight - maybe a video of John Paul supporting me 100% ( yeah replace "supporting" with "riding") will surface before week's end.

The last part of today was our first bit of traditional free-form workshop banter and talking shop - and psychotherapy. Who are your mentors? Do you edit your own work? Is pain important to art and creativity? And just why are so many visual artists diagnosed with attention deficit?
Being diagnosed with the alphabet soup of disorders myself, I was wishing I had better retention of John Ratey's Shadow Syndromes in which he discusses the positive aspects of mild disorders like OCD, hypomania and attention deficit. Another work I couldn't recall this afternoon in class is a fascinating work by Thom Hartman in ADD-A Different Perception in which he theorizes that the ADD trait is a leftover from the era when humans were hunters not farmers. These ADD traits or symptoms such as constantly scanning the environment and lost-in-thought day-dreaming followed by periods of hyperfocus on one activity can be seen to be beneficial to a hunter - or maybe even a photographer.

I'm seeing the development of a new reading list for creativity. More tomorrow.

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