The Adjacent Possible® BlogThe science of creativity, the art of the possible.
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Since every composition creates a new world unto itself, the process carves out a new world from all the worlds that might have been and perhaps still exist in the mind of the creator.
This is akin to how a sculptor like Michelangelo releases a figure from the stone. Bach knows how the fugue might have gone; Picasso knows how the brush stroke might have differed.
The unconscious world is much larger than the conscious one, a related and adjacent infinity, a greater world of possibility only the artist can perceive.
We have come full circle to find the unconscious, the creative, and the possible are all deeply connected. In that place lives Art.
No time is convenient This is a train of thought that will be occurring to a lot of people in the next days as they make their New Years’ resolutions. Anything significant and new in one’s life runs into boundaries and constraints, because in general, peoples’ lives are already full. Life expands to fill the space allotted. You didn’t think you’d get away without some science, did you? When Darwin was thinking about evolution, he described his mental image of the process in an early...
We study Art History in order to mine the brilliance of the masters, as the masters did before us. This lineage is the foundation upon which we explore new works.
It has given us opportunity to reflect on the mutable nature of artistic creativity, that deep principles are independent of medium and have roots in the fundamentals of perception and being.
Art is always there in the time of darkness, whether physical or psychological.
Art is the swallow in our barn, the ghost in the machine, the cherished extra minute of daylight.
Are people we will never know fundamentally different than fictional people we create, at least as regards relationships?
In an analogy with plumbing connecting buildings to a common system, Bruce Sawhill coined the term “e-plumbing,” tying information systems together with code. In a networked world, the individual pieces may appear, disappear, or morph, but the network remains. The “buildings” may come and go, but the “street network” persists and grows. E-plumbing comes up whenever one wants to have one piece of software talk to another. A protocol for communication has to be established as well as a protocol for change, meaning that changing one element does not require changing the whole system.
Memetic barium is a term coined by Bruce. It is a tool for tracing ideas. It has a light and dark side. The light side is seeing if your ideas are visible in the world which can be gratifying if you’re feeling like a lonely voice crying out into the wilderness. The dark side is when copyists steal your work without attribution. We predict that AI large language models (LLMs) will find fertile ground in tracing stolen ideas and intellectual property violations because of their enormous knowledge base of written material. The paradox is that LLMs will also be good at stealing ideas and we’re already seeing evidence of this.
A Story About Bears As many of you who follow this blog know, Nancy and Bruce recently went on a hike through the High Sierra, a singular realm of white granite, azure lakes, steep snowfields, and rushing streams. One of the things that came up a lot, besides how much our legs hurt, was the issue of bears. Nancy was very concerned about bears, clearly having been deeply influenced by the story of Goldilocks when she was a small child. What if we're eaten by bears? It didn't...
Being an artist is about stepping into the unknown, allowing “not knowing”, accessing the adjacent possible & continually evolving your art.
At the pivot point between creation and collapse, you’ll experience a state of poised instability. This is the art and science of the possible- a world of continuous creation.
Return From Parnassus Everybody celebrates and chronicles peak experiences. We are no exception. We returned from an epic backpacking trip in the granite fastness of the California High Sierra ten days ago. Our pictures attest to the amazing scenery. What Nobody Talks About But there’s an aspect of peak experiences that almost nobody talks about. What happens afterwards? What happens after the Olympic awards ceremony when the anthem plays and the medal...
Of all the stone cathedrals I’ve ever visited, the granite vaults of the Sierra outshine them all, grander and older.
Of all the stunning medieval stained glass I’ve ever seen, the high azure lakes embraced by the Sierra outdo them all.
My soul sings in the high haunts of the mountain gods, as powerful as Bach’s organ music to me.
Each visit is a sacrament rather than just a hike, each step gradus ad Parnassum, a visit to a temple no human could ever build.
QUIZ: What's Your #1 Artist Archetype?
Some artists create amazing art with ease, while others struggle year after year to express themselves.
What's going on? Could it be about how you approach your art?
Take the Artist's Archetype Quiz and find out.