from chaos to the wet stars, a piece about creativity

…so that he could plunge back into his chaos and drag out of it, with all its wet stars, his cosmos.

V. Nabokov – The Pale Fire

What can we say about creativity and about the process of creation? Let’s see. Nabokov here, comes up with a plan, which sounds to be rather simple. First you jump into your chaos and then, you bring back a cosmos. Probably the Greeks would agree. Maybe ha has a point, we shouldn’t rule it out just like that becasue it’s a story as old as the world itself. You know. Take a look on how Harris saw Pollock creating:

poll5 #pollock

Here he is, on his hands and knees, surrounded only by silence and his art. A hard-worker, an ant that despies rest and focuses solely on his goal. Granted. This is how it should look like, this is the ‘dragging out of wet stars’ along his comos. He puts it in colors for everyone to see, here the finished work is being born. And all is in perfect orderbut there is nothing about the ‘chaos stage’ yet. That, however, is depicted below:

poll6 #polllock

It’s the fallen drunk. Except productive moments of work everything else in his life is chaotic. But we must be careful before we call such situations drawbacks or dreadful vices. Becasue this is his way of creating an environment in which he later dives when composing, bringing about a fantastic cosoms of new forms, new ideas, new visions of reality. There is productive work and there is everything elese but both are closely connected. No dobut. Chaos is the raw material on which his creative process operates.

Yet this ‘chaos phase’ don’t need to be drinking, smoking and fucking up everybody’s lives. A proper day of reading would leave you with a colorful variety of characters, situations, elements of all kind. You can be an artist focused on safe, artistic intake, you can go crazy and decide to expirience all that life can offer. For each of us it’s an unbalanced mix depending on personal choices, characteristic abilities. Aigrain has a sugestion about creativity’s whereabouts that goes as follows:

When we follow the trajectory of creative people, we find other places: bookstore back-rooms hosting creative writing workshops, pubs with open jam sessions, small music production units that are at the same time rehearsal studios and micro concert halls, dance studios, philosophical cafes, squats and hacker spaces in former industrial buildings where multimedia installations and […]

P. Aigrain – Sharing

Summing up, firstly there is the category of the dionisian input. Whatever your reason is, if you are just brave or absolutely desperate or a plain maniac it doesn’t matter, you have to get separeted from the well-ordered society, the so-called mainstream and plunge into the depths of the chaotic ocean. Consider the example of W. Burroughs. His life was such an utter turmoil, as he went from Mexico to South America to Tangier trying all kinds of drugs on the way, that he only needed to passively record what goes through his head. Such a demon of chaos he was. Thus he stated:

There is only one thing a writer can write about: what is in front of his senses at the moment of writing… I am a recording instrument… I do not presume to impose ‘story’ ‘plot’ ‘continuity’…  

W. Burroughs- Naked Lunch

He sits back in his slimy waters of chaos while, before his eyes:

images fall slow and silent like snow

W. Burroughs- Naked Lunch

Now, on the other hand, there is the domain of Apollo, the output. The field of meticiolous endeavors, of puttitng up a precise construcion, a cosmic system in it’s own right. When counting on those qualities one needs sobriety, ideal precision, a trustworthy blueprint. A perfect arrangemed, assuming that all the feelings are constrained by the form. The total control. (Joyce is an example, with his extremely mundane lifestyle and awsomely planned novels) The audience is kindly asked to use their brain to a large extend in order to decypher author’s masterplan. The artist is asked to put serious effort. His vision should be reduced to this for hours:


Yet, the character of this movie neglected his chaotic source, withdrew form society, from any unpredictable events, he thought he could do without it. No, his feelings exploaded inside, he lost control and balance. Thus no art was created.

These are the two, fundamental realms, the chaos and the cosmos, both irraplacable for an artist. Both consist of enormous quanities of usable space, however, with very few laws and regulations. Those are brought in by an artist and his individuality. His sole duty is to vist both sides of the town. No proper art-work can be created with negation of one of this crucial spheres. They are untranslatable but necessarily coexistent. The irreducible difference is the most magical and most vital element, it’s the holy ghost itself. Finally it’s an underestimated detail always so disastrous for shallow scientists:

For no matter how much a work of art may appear to be a historical datum, and
thus a possible object of scholarly/scientific research, it is always the case
that the work says something to us, and it does so in such a way that its
statement can never be exhaustively expressed in a concept.

H.G. Gadamer – Text and Interpretation

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