Critique of Creativity — Anke Finger

Critique of Creativity – On Imagining the Post-Human in the Digital Age

Creativity in the Western World

  • How do we become creative participants in our world?
  • Creative genius?
  • Kurt Vonnegut — “creativity running in the family” — stigma and fetish of mental illness
  • Divergent thinking … the ‘four c’s’
  • Hype of creative industries / cities
  • Creativity as a cultural value


  • A form of ‘exile’ — outside the human
  • A form of pathology?
  • If post-human is the end of exile and the end of pathology, can we be creative?
  • The marketing potential of ‘creating 10 species’ — that we exist in the post-human world as we are non-subject, ‘never fully reconstituted as subjects’

Flusser & Exile as a Position of Creativity

  • Fields of possibility that allow for creativity
  • Cruel freedom – beginning to design
  • De-sign and creativity
  • The “brain man” — design and imagination
  • Forms of disciplinarity and knowledge making — making art and science the same
  • That digitisation is a ‘end point’ —
  • Plasticity of abstract materials — homogenisation of digitisation at once proving that there are similarities between aesthetics / epistemologies / ethics are the same, but it always minimises the notion of difference — What happens when we only HAVE ONE MATERIAL (the “digital”)


  • Extremophiles — the outliers and the folding of difference
  • Aesthesis
  • The development of an ethical form of creativity — how do we insist on diversity … while taking advantage of the ‘malleability’ of abstract forms (digital). How do we understand and represence the perfidy of these forms. Flusser also gives us this: “It is a fact that functionally complex systems are a challenge to creative thought whereas functionally simple systems are stultifying, idiotic.”
  • Critique: There is no basis in idea that Flusser saw the mediation of the world as a ‘final’ stage in some kind of teleological project — i.e.: Digital is the ‘end point’ of mediation which is a kind of ‘pure thought. E.g.: “
  • “Once we have learnt to listen to electronic music, we will have learnt to grasp the beauty of pure thought. We will have learnt to grasp experientially the reality that our theoretical sciences reveal. We will have recaptured a new sense of reality, which is a new faculty, perhaps simultaneously epistemological, aesthetic and ethical.”
  • Depression / Flusser — that the work is what keeps us alive, as human

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