We want to keep the creative mind engaged as we engage
the critical mind. Critical does not mean negative. It means
discerning, or able to separate into parts. Whatever we
look at, the spot upon which we focus our energy seems to
If we focus on a problem, we start to see problems everywhere.
We become one who is defined by the perception of the proliferation
of problems. Because of this approach, the creative mind
often seems to shut down when critical discourse starts.
If we focus on a miraculous moment instead, we start to
see miraculous moments everywhere. We become one who is
defined by the perception of the proliferation of miracles.
Try the second of these approaches. Think of a creative
response as your own work that would not have existed without
the work you are responding to. Start with the most obvious
miraculous moment that you see in the work. What is obvious
to you may not be obvious to anybody else.
You may have an association with that moment. You may
want to echo it, multiply it, or work from it in some other
way. Work out from that moment. The moment may have been
intentional or accidental. Instead of a moment, your starting
point might be a structural element, a visual element, a
spatial element – anything.
We want to destabilize the boundaries between critical
modes and the creative modes in order to enrich them both.
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