While I have thought a lot about creativity, I had never really sat down and systematically thought about making before so it felt like new territory to explore. Over the first week we engaged with ideas like making is connecting things, that it can be viewed as a project and/or as growth in which we change and ‘undergo’ as we make, that we can view it as a process through which new forms are created in materials and that the materials themselves shape the way we think, that making involves us in a type of knowing that can only come through making, that making is an ecological phenomenon involving relationships and interactions not just with the materials we are working with, but with ourselves, our past and our environment, that imagination plays a role in both a reproductive and a generative sense. We are now at the end of this conversation and I feel I have learnt much through the different perspectives that have been shared by over 20 participants.
In reading the narratives of making I am struck by the relationship between the complexity of something that is being made and the complexity of the process through which making occurs. For example, +Simon Rae shared a lovely story of sitting in a church and sketching what he saw and felt. He describes a particular set of circumstances and materials and an act that is contained within a short period of time in an environment that is more or less stable. No one interferes with his sketching and his product emerges quickly.
On the other hand, contrast this situation with +Jennifer Willis' description of trying to work collaboratively with her students to make a promotional leaflet for their school – a narrative that is still unfolding more than three weeks after she started as cirumstances changed to disrupt her plans. Complexity cannot be controlled it must be worked with, responded and adapted to. When more than one person is involved in making we bring into the process multiple uniquenesses, multiple circumstances, materials and events in multiple lives and these become involved and entangled in a merry dance that move backwards and forwards towards a shared goal.
This is what underlies the spirit and culture of open learning and open education to which this conversation is dedicated. The conversation and the images and stories of the things we made and shared is a gift to anyone who takes the trouble to view our Google+ forum or the YouTube movie below, or in good time – the issue of Creative Academic Magazine we will make.
YOUTUBE VIDEO OF OUR CREATIONS