Creativity Does Not Come From Within

Kirby Ferguson did a Ted talk on creative ideas and the way in which we look at creativity.  In the past, someone was considered to be creative if they had “original” ideas. But where did these creative ideas come from? What is their source? Maybe these ideas were not as original as we think.  There was no internet in the past, and we have no idea how people actually arrived at their so called “original” ideas.  Today it is much easier to spot material that has been reused in a different way.  So, it may be that we used to believe that all great works of art came from within in the artist.  But what if they came from without?

Maybe it is the combination of different components that are not usually linked together that is original and creative, even though the actual components are not original at all.  Kirby claims that all creativity comes from copying, transforming, and combining the materials that is available to us, which is the idea behind remixes. If that is the case, then there should be greater creativity today than ever before because the infinite amount of content, information, art, and ideas that we have access to through the internet at a moment’s notice.

But there is something that is hindering our progress and creativity.  That is patent and copyright laws that inhibit our ability to share our own work.  If we can not share, then we can not grow or advance because creativity is about making connections not inventions. The inventions and creations are a result of creativity but the basic foundation of the creative process is about the connections that are made.

If we could get society to see creativity in this way, then perhaps patents and copyrights laws could be changed and molded in a way that suits this perception of what it means to be creative.  But motive behind the laws may very well not even be about creativity, authorship, property, or a sense of entitlement.  Instead it is probably just about money. Why? Because it’s always about money.

The makers of the iphone including Steve Jobs did not want other companies to sell products similar to the ones that they were selling.  Patents and copyright laws are used to reduce competition and increase the profit for a company even if the basic technology was not originally their idea but had been around for decades.  Alright so this is the case in business, and no one would be able to convince these companies otherwise that their ideas are not really original enough to be patented since they don’t care and only want to profit as much as possible.  What they care about it money and making lots of it.  Understandably, that is the after all the main objective of any business or company.

But what about the folks that are not just trying to make money. What about the people who want to express themselves by remixing old material to make new material without making a profit from it?  I believe that copyright and patents in this case begin to take away our right to free speech. We want to share something and express ourselves, but we can not with these laws stoping us.  Sometimes the material that is  reused  is degraded by what it is associated with when it is combined to make new material.  As mentioned in the video, the quality of content of was diluted when the Grey Album was produced according certain people.  However, this should not be reflective of the old material or the author of the old material because it was created by someone else.  Once material is in circulation, artists should not inhibit others from utilizing it in new and different ways.  New people will be exposed to the material that might not have been beforehand.  Also, there will always be others who appreciate the remix and see the beauty in it because art is subjective and as they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


4 thoughts on “Creativity Does Not Come From Within

  1. No Creativity? – Digital Creativity & Expression Spring 2013

  2. Instead of saying no creativity comes from within (because all is borrowed, inspired, observed in some way and then extented ETC…) we can question authenticity of reproductions or the ‘reimix.’ Because a lot of art is created organically from something else, this process in itself (although copies are made and original material altered) is authentic because it is true to human nature…. The question of authenticity can be obvious to some: if something is not an ‘original’ it is inauthentic… but for me, if something is made from something else (ie a remix like biggie + sanatra) then an authentic process of creation has taken place – because it is a legitimate and natural way of creating art.

    • (that was confusing) let me try again: the action of remixing is authentic in itself because it is a process that is the FIRST to cut things up and put them back together. Just because the parts are recycled, doesn’t mean that the artistic process is ‘inauthentic’ or non creative

  3. Creativity and Suffering | live healthy live happy

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