“Here we have the principle of commodity fetishism, the domination of society by things whose qualities are “at the same time perceptible and imperceptible by the senses.”
This principle is absolutely fulfilled in the spectacle, where the perceptible world is replaced by a set of images that are superior to that world yet at the same time impose themselves as eminently perceptible.” (Debord, 1967)
Above Image source: Pinterest.
Curiosity exists in the space between the known and the unknown.
A desire to fill this void calls upon a creative exploration. (Lowenstein, 1994.)
We have all heard of the saying “Curiosity killed the cat.”
However there is a lesser known response to this quote “But satisfaction brought it back.”
Initially this quote leads us to think that curiosity has a negative connotation, while the extended response indicates the positive power of curiosity.
In the creative industries, curiosity is what leads us to explore imaginative ideas and solutions.
Einstein once said ” I have no special talent. I am just passionatley curious.”
There is a subconscious decision that occurs when we decide to allow our curiosity to develop.
A small idea or , intrinsic calling may spark our attention. It is our curiosity that responds to this and makes a call to action.
If curiosity leads the way for creative exploration, cultivating more curiosity in our day to day lives this will allow us to become more creative.
In what environment does curiosity flourish?
It seems that as human beings, while we are under intense deadlines and pressure we would be less likely to give attention to our curiosity. Turning our backs on our inner voice and “ticking the boxes” on what is expected of us is an example of low level creativity.
Therefore for curiosity and creativity to flourish, we must reduce the amount of external influences on our way of being.
Above image: Bill Henson, Untitled #06. (1998-2000)
Ian Sanders is a creative consultant who explains that curiosity is about asking “What if?”
In his article “The art of curiosity” he states “Asking What if can unlock innovation, it can make us solve problems in new ways. It can make us ask obvious questions that we never thought to ask before.”
To incorporate more curiosity into our lives Sanders believes;
“All it takes is a commitment to ask questions, to explore new possibilities, to embark on a journey of discovery.”
Sanders lists 6 ways we can inject more curiosity into our lives:
- Be fluid & Flexible: 5 years plans are great to have an idea of where we are going. But it’s good to stay open for other opportunities that may arise along the way.
- Think like a kid.
- Be an idea collector: Gather and collect ideas form varies sources and use them as a reference tool in your practice.
- Travel without a map: Get lost, follow your intuition. There is much to be taken from spontaneity and random encounters where not everything goes to plan.
- Read watch and listen widely: This allows us to inform our consciousness. To work our curiosity muscle.
- Dabble: Experiment with other genres, in other fields as a form of expression.
In our modern world where everyone has an smartphone, it seems it is becoming harder to disconnect.
By having an infinite amount of information available to us, it seems that this information overload can have a negative effect on our way of thinking.
Chris Wire delivered a TED talk titled “Curiosity is Fuel for Creativity.”
Within his speech Wire mentions that it is important for us not to under estimate the power of our brains. We have become lazy relying on our smart phones. He states that by being more deductive and more curious enables us to live with more creative abundance to find magical ideas. Wire also speaks of the active creators.
We mustn’t fall back on technology for approval for every little problem that needs to be solved. Instead we should figure out the answers for ourselves and use technology to confirm our findings. Because on the way we may come across a magical idea.
Our curiosity sets humans apart from automated robotics that are being rolled out through many industries.
In our society, applications such as Instagram and Facebook are distributing a constant feed of the collective conscious. It is an infinite machine of information that we cannot fully consume. I believe that in separating ourselves from this feed of information we are able to remove ourselves from the masses and allow for personal insightful moments. ( R. Parasuraman ; T.B. Sheridan ; C.D. Wickens, 2000)
Where social media has potential to promote change, and influence people to buy. It isn’t the best resource for triggering intrinsic motivation for creative people.
We need to continue to ask What if, Switch off and get lost in our own first hand experience again. To follow our intuitive minds, deduce answers to problems and become active creators. As technology has developed, our expectations have become strict in referral due to the correlation and collection of mass information.
The use of technology as a tool along with active curiosity will bring about innovation and revolutionize the world in the future. We cannot rely on the technology alone.
Debord, G. (1994). The society of the spectacle. New York: Zone Books.
R. Parasuraman ; T.B. Sheridan ; C.D. Wickens. (2000). A Model For Types and Levels of Human Interaction with Automation. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics – Part A: Systems and Humans ( Volume: 30, Issue: 3, May 2000 )
Sanders, I. (Dec, 19 2014) The Art Of Curiosity: A manifesto for living a more curious life. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/@iansanders/the-art-of-curiosity-de9d9a69f6ff
Wire, C. (2014, February). Chris Wire: Curiosity Fuel Creativity [Video file]. Retrieved from:
Zelazo, P. D., Lyons, K. E., Whipple, N., Bernier, A., Mageau, G. a., The Mendeley Support Team, … Schreiner, C. (2014). The psychology of curiosity: A review and reinterpretation. Child Development Perspectives, 79(1), 1–16. Retreived From: https://www.mendeley.com/research-papers/psychology-curiosity-review-reinterpretation-1/