The Adjacent Possible® Blog

The science of creativity, the art of the possible.

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Take Your Art Somewhere New In 2024: The Adjacent Possible

Take Your Art Somewhere New In 2024: The Adjacent Possible

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.

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Timing, Art & New Year’s Resolutions

Timing, Art & New Year’s Resolutions

  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...

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Solstice Art & Light

Solstice Art & Light

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. 

 

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E-Plumbing & The Architecture Of Meaning

E-Plumbing & The Architecture Of Meaning

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.

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Art, Patterns, Memetic Barium & Memes

Art, Patterns, Memetic Barium & Memes

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.

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Art: Winter’s Antidote

Art: Winter’s Antidote

  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...

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Return From Parnassus

Return From Parnassus

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...

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Climbing Parnassus

Climbing Parnassus

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.

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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.