In December 2009, thanks to the GCTC, I participated in an incredibly valuable Viewpoints masterclass given by Michael Greyeyes. Michael is an excellent teacher, everyone who attended the workshop was fully engaged with the process, and the Viewpoints technique is a powerful framework with which to make sense of the creative process.
For me, the masterclass was a success because it introduced a coherent and satisfying approach to creativity that encouraged me to look outside of myself — to others, to the physical space around me — for creative inspiration. For someone as internally focused as I am, it was a curiously liberating and satisfying approach to creation.
In 2000, a friend convinced me to attend a DJ set by Richie Hawtin, one of the most creative DJs out there. I had only one beer on the evening but the arrangement of music he created with three turntables and an effects pedal got me high.
Hawtin’s set, and my subsequent investigation of the dance music scene, helped me realize that the aesthetic impulse can be expressed successfully at different levels. Some musicians affect us by arranging notes, some musicians arrange other musicians, and some others arrange records. For someone who was obsessively focused on the micro dimensions of creativity, it expanded my sense of the possible and was the beginning of the end of my aesthetic snobbery.
What do these two idea-experiences have to do with each other?
They intersect at this question: if I look outside myself for inspiration and if I express my aesthetic impulse at a macro rather than a micro level, what might be possible?