Louis Esterhuizen. Kreatief, danksy die geraas …

 

Wanneer dit by kreatiwiteit kom, hou ‘n kunstenaar dikwels distraksies of ander struikelblokke voor as rede waarom hul kreatiwiteit onderdruk word. Hierdie blyk egter nou ‘n drogredenasie te wees, aangesien  ‘n onlangse studie deur Janina Marguc by die Universiteit van Amsterdam bevind het dat dit júís die distraksies en belemmeringe is wat ‘n kunstenaar se verbeelding en kreatiwiteit stimuleer; waarvan poësie volgens Marguc se studie ‘n uiters gepaste voorbeeld is.

“Can obstacles prompt people to look at the ‘big picture’ and open up their minds? Do the cognitive effects of obstacles extend beyond the tasks with which they interfere? These questions were addressed in 6 studies involving both physical and nonphysical obstacles and different measures of global versus local processing styles […] Results suggest that obstacles trigger an ‘if obstacle, then start global processing’ response, primarily when people are inclined to stay engaged and finish ongoing activities,” skryf Marguc in die opsomming van haar artikel wat in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology verskyn het.

Dit is dan juis dié “global processing” wat volgens Jonah Lehrer se opvolgartikel in Wired Science vir die digter van belang is: “Perhaps the best example of this phenomenon is poetry. At first glance, the art seems to be defined by its liberation from ordinary language – poets don’t have to obey the rules of syntax and punctuation. And yet, most poetry still depends on literary forms with exacting requirements, such as haikus, sestets and sonnets. This writing method seems to make little sense, since it makes the creative act much more difficult. Instead of composing free verse, poets frustrate themselves with structural constraints. Why?”, vra hy heel tereg en antwoord sy vraag dan enkele paragrawe verder met die volgende waarneming: “Consistently, these studies show that encountering an obstacle in one task can elicit a more global, Gestalt-like processing style that automatically carries over to unrelated tasks, leading people to broaden their perception, open up mental categories, and improve at integrating seemingly unrelated concepts.”

Maar hoe werk hierdie proses, neurlologies gesproke? Lehrer verduidelik dit soos volg: “The larger lesson is that the brain is a neural tangle of near infinite possibility, which means that it spends a lot of time and energy choosing what not to notice. As a result, creativity is traded away for efficiency; we think in literal prose, not symbolist poetry. And this is why constraints are so important: It’s not until we encounter an unexpected hindrance – a challenge we can’t easily resolve – that the chains of cognition are loosened, giving us newfound access to the weird connections simmering in the unconscious.”

Waarskynlik is dit presies bogenoemde wat Paul Valery in gedagte gehad het toe hy gesê het: “A person is a poet if his imagination is stimulated by the difficulties inherent in his art and not if his imagination is dulled by them.” Of wat van Chesterton se beroemde aforisme: “Art consists in limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame.”

Nou ja, toe. Gaan dus heen en vra jou buurman om sy CD van Bles Bridges se Ruiter van die windjie tot doofwordens op volle volume óóp te draai; huur twintig honde by die DBV en maak hulle in jou agterplaas toe; sit ‘n bord voor jou huis wat sê: Please rev your engin, blaas jou toeter!

En skryf jou meesterstuk oor die vreugde van stilte.

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