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Sunday, 13 March 2016

ICT, Art and STARTS: DG CONNECT and the ideology of creativity

The ideology of creativity – a false image, a collective delusion, a constructed reality: one that is more attractive than reality, which is that many activities that people are forced to participate in by patriarchal power structures, do not represent fulfilling and original work, but the execution of other people's timetables, plans and agendas, which involve blocking real creativity in the name of preserving a culture that makes a virtue of living life like a plague of locusts. Whatever name one gives to the ideology of creativity – ICT & ART CONNECT, STARTS, STEAM or SEAD – they are still the ideology of creativity. No amount of CONNECTing, STARTing, STEAMing or SEADing will change this fundamental and uncomfortable truth.

So now we have a definition of STARTS; knowledge of what the letters S, T, A, R and T actually mean: artists are forced, often because of lack of funding, to participate in a patriarchal power structure, where they will not be undertaking fulfilling and original work, but will have to implement other people's timetables, plans and agendas, with their artistic creativity blocked in the name of preserving a culture that makes a virtue of living life like a plague of locusts.

When you have finished reading this blog, and the others we have written (and the ones that have yet to appear) you will know what Stephen Wilson meant when he highlighted one role of the artist in science and technology as being that of critical practitioner: the deconstruction of cultural patterns of integrating science and technology to clarify underlying meanings ignored in the over-hyped flow of normal technological and commercial life. In the case of STARTS, there is much to deconstruct. And one thing you can be sure of is that DG CONNECT’s feigned interest in art, most surely does not encompass critical practice. What image seeking exploiter of the arts would wish to become the subject of this type of artistic practice? Why would DG CONNECT, a failing public organisation, want to be the subject of satire and ridicule?

Back now to the ideology of creativity, which also reveals yet another strategic flaw in Western thinking, and those all important cognitive biases, that China, now ascending once more, can use to unleash the forces of creative destruction against the West. The people of the Western world proclaim their secularism, and sometimes even proudly announcing their atheism, but they are still People of the Book.

And when the Americans look at STARTS they will surely ask: where’s the beef? By this we mean where is the evidence? What’s that you say, “it’s in the ICT ART CONNECT study report!” But we have read this several times and cannot find any evidence. There are of course some anecdotes, not just in the report, but spread across the globe in many places, but that which people call evidence is hard to come by. It is an interesting area that requires further investigation, both theoretical and empirical. And this lack of evidence is why you, DG CONNECT, are now engaging in make-believe, inventing things, calling-on that that you do not understand, in the hope that you will not be found out. To which we say, Wizard of Oz, to which we turn next week ...

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