It is interesting to discuss the concept of the genius, whether working in
isolation or in collaboration. One of the critical elements is that of
patronage, whether papal, monarchical, governmental, institutional or
corporate and the concept of the collective- the Cathedral builders, the
Apollo Space program vs. the individual- Leonardo. Buckminster Fuller, whom
I would call visionaries. Within a collective, shared talents join for a
common good. The individual works as a free agent and may attract a
following within academic circles or disciplines, as Frank Lloyd Wright.
There are individuals who join forces to balance their strengths to focus on
critical issues. In 1994 writer Nancy Jack Todd and biologist Dr. John Todd
wrote of their explorations, experiments and groundbreaking work in From
Eco-Cities to Living Machines. Following in the tradition of the German
Rudolph Steiner¹s focus on the study of nature, which eventually spawned
permaculture, the John Todd family began designing biological means of
purifying water within an experimental center called Ocean Arks and
developing the precepts of biological design. Rigorous observation of
natural processes led to creative, innovative and successful designs for
green living. The works are disseminated through collaborations with cities
and agencies and the word spread through writing, teaching, lectures and
demonstrations across the world. Yasmin readers may be interested in
reading the book, which outlines visionary actions taken by individuals and
groups across the globe, from Morocco to New York City to advance a common
good in a network of shared solutions for different landscape conditions.
On 8/10/09 5:32 PM, "roger malina" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> in your critiques of the concept of genius you state:
> I do not think there is such a thing as genius. As I have already indicated,
> I have a lot of time for Newton's idea of team-work.
> I regard individuality as a contingent characteristic, preferring the
> Foucauldian notion of the distributed self or Latour's of expanded and
> diffused agency. In these models the individual is regarded as an instance
> of the collective and enabled through that context, drawing on and defined
> by the resources within and without them (there is no notion of an essential
> or irreducible self .
> A contemporary example of diffused agency/distributed self is found of course
> in open source software development groups. Many of us think of
> open source software development as a source of innovation and creativity
> as compared to commercial development or very institutionalised contexts
> but a recent article by Viktor Mayer=Schonberg in Science on
> Can We Re Invent the Internet
> he points out that in general social network topologies are not
> conducive to radical innovation- and he suggests that the value
> of a 'node''s value in a social network is not proporitional to the
> number of links (facebookers beware) but the connections to
> disparate groups=which span 'structural holes' and enable
> radical approaches= he argues that much peer produced code
> is rarely altered except in an incremental manner= he suggests
> that one needs to create incentives to form network structures
> that, structurally, stimulate and enable innovation-and he suggests
> some prescriptions
> its an interesting thought that the actual 'structure' of the network
> of a collaboration can in itself determine whether the collaboration
> is inventive, and can make radical non incremental innovation
> but it also higlights how even in team work, individuals can play
> key roles in enabling radical innovation by a group= there are
> organisational geniuses ?
> which brings me to Nina Yankowitz comments on the emobilart
> collaboration groups:- have added my comments in CAPS
> Nina says:
> As an emobilart participant>> list some of my thoughts re:
> collaborative projects / establishing good conditions for problem
> 1. Inviting prospective participants - distributing details of all
> participants proposals and profiles at least one month in advance of
> meeting, to ponder, can better prepare invited collaborators to make
> efficient choices when deciding with whom to collaborate.
> ONE OF THE STRENGTHS OF EMOBILART WAS THAT THE COLLABORATORS DID NOT
> KNOW EACH OTHER
> BEFORE THE FIRST WORKSHOP WHEN THE COLLABORATION TEAMS FORMED= BUT THE
> LIMITED AMOUNT OF TIME INDEED MADE THE GROUP FORMATION PROCESS PERHAPS
> NOT AS GOOD AS IT COULD BE=AT THE SAME
> TIME THE FACT THAT MOST OF THE GROUPS WERE ABLE TO COMPLETE A PROJECT=
> TESTIFIES TO THE POWER OF THE COLLABORATION IMAGINATION DRIVE !
> 2. Clearly establishing a non-hierarchal relationship between all
> participants and organizers, with special attention to this when
> participants from each category are creating and exhibiting in the
> same project.
> I THINK WE WOULD AGREE THAT WE DIDNT THINK ENOUGH AHEAD OF TIME ABOUT
> THE COLLABORATION
> BETWEEN THE ORGANISERS THEMSELVES AND BETWEEN THE ORGANISERS/CURATORS
> AND THE ARTISTS.
> PERHAPS A RECOMMENDATION WOULD TO DO ACTUAL TRAINING IN COLLABORATIVE
> TECHNIQUES=THESE ARE WIDELY USED IN THE BUSINESS WORLD FOR INSTANCE=
> ACTUALLY TRAIN IN COLLABORATION TECHNIQUES
> 3. All members should, I believe, have equal access to all meetings
> about the projects and networking meetings too, equally sharing in the
> decision making process and the potential networking benefits that
> these meetings can provide.
> IN STRATEGIC ALLIANCE METHODOLOGY IN THE BUSINESS WORLD, IT IS KNOWN
> THAT ONE MUST ESTABLISH THE CLEARLY ARTICULATED VALUES AND
> METHODOLOGIES AHEAD OF TIME AND IN WRITING
> = IN EMOBILART WE LEARNED BY DOING WHICH IS HIGH RISK !
> 4. I do believe the future, as I think Roger is suggesting, is in
> collaborative pooling of resources.
> A CLEAR PROBLEM WAS THE HUGE AMOUNT OF DONATED AND CONTRIBUTED
> RESOURCES NEEDED TO COMPLETE THE PROJECTS. THE COLLABORATION TEAM
> ITSELF WAS GROSSLY UNDERFUNDED=BUT IF WE HAD
> SUBMITTED A PROPOSAL WITH THE TRUE COSTS IT PROBABLY WOULD NOT HAVE
> BEEN FUNDED. CATCH 22
> 5. Whether small or large groups - formations need structure,
> mutual clarification of goals, and how to best meet specific group
> needs. Assumptions about how projects may get funded by participants
> in respective groups can be problematic and would best be detailed
> within each. Also addressing how grants can / should be fairly
> disseminated if received when individuals apply for project funding
> and are awarded?
> PER MY DISCUSSION ABOVE RE OPEN SOURCE NETWORK STRUCTURES=YES=THE
> STRUCTURE CAN DETERMINE WHAT KINDS OF OUTCOMES ARE POSSIBLE
> 6. Personal aspects - Although numerous snags abound when initially
> cross-connecting myriad cultures, uncovering ingrained biases, intense
> egos that non-cyborgs nurture, that we all succumb - I found flying
> with my teams very valuable to my personal and spiritual growth and
> growth for the future of the planet in general. I look forward to
> THE INTERPERSONAL TENSIONS ARE PERHAPS PART OF THE CONTEXT OF CREATIVE
> FRICTION ? IT MIGHT
> HAVE BEEN USEFUL TO HAVE A GROUP SOCIOLOGIST OR PSYCHOLOGIST ON THE TEAM !!
> Nina (Yankowitz)
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