Teaching Contingencies – Deleuze, Creativity Discourses, and Art

This dissertation, flying between aesthetics, visual arts, and political/cultural/historical issues, traverses lines of stratification, and (de/re)territorialization to examine uncertainties in making and teaching art. In keeping with a conviction that nothing is unitary, that everything is always connected to countless others, Deleuze and Guattari’s metaphor of rhizome is the central organizing element in my work. My research questions what is meant by creativity, whether assumed to be a gift, talent, or innate quality, and what is meant by teaching art in university, which assumes creativity can be organized and developed.

From a Deleuzian point of view, creation is a becoming event, as destructive as productive. Creativity, which is about freedom, occurs on a plane of immanence which sifts chaos and multiplicity together to break lines. Teaching, however, is on a “plane of organization” where rigid and dichotomous segmentarities of personal and social life operate. I suggest that artistic knowledge can be theorized and taught, in the Schönian sense, but creativity, a matter of “lines of flight,” is fundamentally unrelated to artistic knowledge. I argue that what can be taught is technique, theory, and the material language of media, and that these should be taught as explicit professional objectives, not as “creativity.” We can teach the value of breaking away from the false seriousness of creativity, with reference to Dada. We can teach the enjoyment of chaos and the confrontation of it. We can teach resistance. We can teach a love of complexities. We can teach play.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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