Monday, August 10, 2009

[Yasmin_discussions] collective genius


thanks for responding my suggestion that we discuss the issues around creativity
and collaboration-triggered by simon biggs post below where he challenges the
idea that collective or collaborative teams can display 'genius"

"Simon Biggs" <> wrote:

> Which brings us to your point about genius and the jump of creativity.
> Whilst I agree that creativity does not work in straight lines or as a
> coherent progression 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 - the self is more like a construction). In a sense I
> find it difficult to identify what is in and what is out. As such, all our
> activities are more or less distributed and collective in nature. I do not
> see how genius can fit in that model.

I think that in this yasmin discussion I want to push the question of whether
work done in collaboration can display "genius" and I think it can- if we mean
by genius major work that is not incremental in nature but in some way recasts
and raises entirely new solutins and questions whether in the arts and sciences

what are the best examples we can cite of really interesting
collaboration which displayed genius or really excellent work

there are for example some very prominent 'couples' in our field where the work
is really first rate,but could never have been accomplished without the team of
the two people- these probably dont rise to the level of 'genius' but
i think could
be one line or argument

for instance;

woody and steine vasulka
helen and newton harrions
christa sommerer and laurent mignoneau

can any one name other exceptional couples whose creative work
would be unthinkable without their collaboration ?

Yasmin_discussions mailing list

Yasmin URL:

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: click on the link to the list you wish to subscribe to. In the page that will appear ("info page"), enter e-mail address, name, and password in the fields found further down the page.

HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE: on the info page, scroll all the way down and enter your e-mail address in the last field. Enter password if asked. Click on the unsubscribe button on the page that will appear ("options page").

HOW TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page, find the "Set Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or off.