Thursday, May 24, 2007

Express Yourself

Are humans the only species that engage in creative activity solely for the purpose of expression? Like creating a painting to hang on the wall, not like a beaver damn-which, while creative, has obvious function.

And if you could say that they are (which admittedly I am not sure of) do you think that humans only engage in this kind of activity because they are also the only species who set up so many rules to govern society that are, in comparison to the beaver, repressive in some way?

I am not saying that rules dont have function, but that the repression is actually the catalyst to expression, perhaps.

your thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. I think this can be thought of in several ways. One is that because of our higher cognitive abilities (I know that sounds very anthropocentric, but we are more advanced than other species in more ways than one), we are able to be extremely creative. I suppose this is due in part to expansion in frontal and/or parietal lobes which allow us abstract thinking which in turn allows for artistic expression?

    However, this doesn't mean that other animals do not engage in creative behavior. I've heard, or seen, domestic animals coming up with their own delightful games and ways to amuse themselves. I feel that those behaviors could be seen as creative endeavors.

    I've just been rambling so far, but as far as repression being the catalyst to expression, that does seem to hold true for many creative thinkers throughout history. To be jeered at or to have suffered immeasurable hardships often lead individuals to a greater degree of introspection and may spawn artistic expression. But expression can happen in many different forms, and methods of doing the most menial tasks can be done in creative ways.

    I feel like repression is part of it, but not all of it. Because if one doesn't suffer many repressive hardships, does that mean they're less prone to creativity? And what if the rules imposed are so harsh that creativity is slaughtered? Then will creativity still bloom?

    Now back to my own creative work, my paper, my life for the next few hours. I must say that writing this response to your post was a much-needed break for me. And now, to forge on with my paper.