Seminar announcement: Creativity shrinks distances

Steffie Verstappen
Article by: Steffie Verstappen
Seminar announcement: Creativity shrinks distances

THNK's Director of Education and Research, Johan Hoorn, will be giving a talk at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences that goes by the title: "Creativity shrinks distances". Surely, he will have many interesting insights to share!


Creativity shrinks distances—and in doing so, expands horizons. Science, technology, art, and business thrive on creativity. Yet, are we talking about discovering novelties or are we constructing them? And what is the creative process actually about? Association, integration, and evaluation are often-mentioned ingredients of the creative process but can easily be extended by incubation, abstraction, adaptation, and so on. How do these concepts relate to one another?


The seminar “Creativity shrinks distances (and in doing so, expands horizons)” is meant as an inventory of perspectives on creativity as well as a serious attempt to jointly evaluate the meaning of the different concepts, to define the different mechanisms, and to try to come to a level of scholarly discourse that escapes the narrow practices of individual areas of inquiry.


The concept of creativity is surrounded by a great number of theories and ideas, which all seem to have a point. Sometimes, they seem to conflict with each other, and at other times seem to be complementary. There is the idea of creativity as an evolutionary process, socially driven, building upon prior ideas, allowing co-creation, and advocating a more or less deterministic worldview.


New technology always has its predecessors, whereas science merely “discovers” what is already there, independent of the individual. There is also the idea of the disruption of a grand tradition, the paradigm shift, forced by the individual psychology of the genius who, with a flash of insight, sees what others do not see. And then there is the role of chance, probability, “serendipity”, or systematically adding noise to a pattern, the results of which may be interpreted as an artistic object trouvé.



When: Thursday, 2 December 2010, 11 AM
Where: Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS), Lecture Room, Meijboomlaan 1, 2242 PR Wassenaar

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