Darwin Jingili Water Gardens Days 8-10
In a social environment, each repeating action is slightly different, even when social interactions are limited to a few actors and a limited range of actions is undertaken.
Walking past a stranger and muttering 'good morning' or making a hand or facial gesture, whilst limited is also grounding. Each repeated action improves the experience of the activity. The smile gets bigger and ignoring more pronounced. The gesture shifts from novel to heightened and then to automation. Simple transactions fall into the shadows or normality. The gesture occurs without realization. It is systematized. Is there a way of not plateauing into reductive repetitive activity and to continually improve the experience?
Perhaps gamification? For example, one reaction for one person and another for another person.
My original and prior thoughts were that continuous and repeated actions inhibit each transaction's ability to adapt. So mix it up - change hand & facial gestures - make the play in how the transaction initiates and concludes. Perhaps, switch the which side of the path the transaction occurs. This way the humanness within the transaction transpires the actual activity of walking on a designated and identical path. At what point does this approach breakthrough social norms to become non-sensical or even perceived as a threat?
Obviously, the superficialness of the greeting of unknown people within a simple scenario is different than that of a more complex scenario like greeting known co-workers every morning where discussion is likely to occur. However, the question of improving transactions in social media platforms is comparable. At what time does liking the same person's creative post stop having a sense of quality or uplifting emotion and enters the realm of superficial habit. Doing it because that is what you do or gaming up by employing emojis, comments, and self-promotional statements/links. There is creative opportunities within each transaction within systemic understandings acceptable norms.
It would be stupid if I thought that after 10 days of visiting Jingili Water Gardens, at more or less the same time and following the same path my ability to adapt would be stunted. After 10 circuits over 10 days, I am starting to anticipate what I will most likely encounter, and surprises become significant. It is enjoyable crossing paths with the same people, dogs, and birds. I do enjoy how the sun interacts with the trees and other artifacts within the gardens. Like a game of chess, I am seeing possibilities and anticipating what I can do. I can forecast that if I repeated my actions over a year, my structural, physiological, and behavioral insights would become finer and finer. If I could maintain this level of reflection, the data I collect on each and every transaction would compound, and my knowledge would transcend to a new level of expertise. If I do not maintain this level of reflection will the activity become a chore and a lockin
The promise of Artificial Intelligence and automation is about freeing us from the tyranny of repetitive tasks. Is reflection a burden and will AI extend its capacity to respond on my behalf? More importantly, will I employ it? The symbiotic relationship of walking through Jingili Water Gardens and reflective writing has enabled a creative response. Combined, both repetitive activities required time and effort, dedication and discipline to gain a semblance of personal reward. My simple question is - how do humans gain expertise of intrinsic satisfaction without engaging repetition? My more complex question regards the systematization of Artificial Intelligence and the problem of freedom without repetition.
If the promise is, freedom from repetition enables people to engage in more complex endeavors, however, how do we step up to more complex endeavors without repetition? How does that work in teaching? Will that mean teaching will become more complex, learning will increase and creativity will flourish?
Jackson Pollock, Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), 1950, enamel on canvas, 266.7 x 525.8 cm (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
In regards to creating great music, can this be done without developing a skills platform? Iterative improvement, through a step and repeat based process, can create exceptional art. Jackson Pollock achieved remarkable paintings through a repetitive action-based methodology. Despite the similarities, not one of his paintings is a replicant. At the heart, Pollock's artistic creativity is both repetition and reflection. On this basis, the complexity of reflection increases the output enriches. This leads to the next question if creativity is based on iterative improvement at what point is improvement non-recognizable.
Baldessari Cremation Project highlights the normality plateau many repetitive creatives find themselves - that is an expression that relies on iterative improvement eventually recycles and becomes reductive.
John Baldessari, I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art, 1971, lithograph, 57 x 76.4 cm (The Museum of Modern Art) © John Baldessari,
In regards to Jingili Water Gardens, how many repeated walks and how much reflection can be applied before reduction occurs and I am basically recycling? I will not reach this realization as I know that the repetitive loop will be broken once I return to work. So on this realization, this is my last Jingili Water Garden reflection.
What have I learned from the experience and reflection?
My quest was to discipline myself into a repetitive activity to question 'just doing it' normality, to observe freedom, and to self impose restricted actions within societal restrictions to find a path forward that increased my creatively in the twilight years of my professional career and address ways of re-entering an artistic career post 60. I believe that I have found a nebulous idea and my next logical step is to goal map creative growth across education and artistic expressions. There are two systems I need to reevaluate and build within. My creativity will be essentially adaptive. That is from within.
Since I graduated in 1981 as an artist and 1983 as an educator much has changed. Within the contemporary art realm, narrative, identity, and experience have become an increasingly important design agent. There are more people who are interested in contemporary art, there are more gallery agents, more venues, more ways to publicize and make publication. Studio arts have exponentiated into a wider scoped creative arts industry. What I can observe is that contemporary art is moving from the margin towards the center. The arts industry seems more professional and commercial in that it not only operates in elite circles but on a mass scale based on a smaller price dividend. Art events are becoming more and more spectacular. As this growth has broadened user base, traditional media-based fine art products have shifted from the leading thought to that of the level of craft. It has found it's based on media specialization. Technology has shifted contemporary artists from producing and refining style to seeking new modes of critical dialogue. The artist-as-genius model has expired. Wow - how do I step into this paradigm?
The expansion of education into society has significantly transformed society. When I entered university it was a privilege of the few. Most students did not complete their senior secondary school. Perhaps the biggest change has been in the realm of completion to “lifelong learning. There is no endpoint. The link between national growth and personal growth through formal education is established. National growth, human capital, and educational attainment underlines human prosperity. I need to question my hierarchical status. Do I remain operational in my current position and incrementally improve until I reach reduction or do I break the loop into a new paradigm of improvement?
What I have gained from the repetitive walks through Jingili Water Gardens and applied reflection is that the creative system is the system thinking. For creativity to benefit systems it cannot be as simple as - get another idea and then just do it. The components that form a system must be viewed as a whole and thinking as a whole. A creative system observes itself thinking throughout its own repetitive iterations. It takes time and thinking discipline for systems to realize creativity. Systems lose creative scope and become reductive and depreciatory. These systems need to reflect on their repetitive artifacts.