The making of art through the unfolding of time
Sanda, Laurie Mareta
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The purpose of this interdisciplinary study is to investigate the temporal experience of artists during the conception and generation of artworks. The hybrid methodology of this qualitative study establishes a philosophical framework to integrate ideas from philosophy, psychology, physics, neurobiology, and the arts. Phenomenological language illustrates the philosophical line of reasoning throughout. Two composers, three choreographers, two visual artists, one novelist, and one fashion designer were interviewed through a series of open-ended questions. Chapter I initiates discussion of the ‘now’ moment of creative action and sequences the phases of artistic creativity including: incubation, impulsion, the action/ event, encounter, the emergence of the voice /life of the artwork itself, entrainment , creative/aesthetic engagement, and feedback looping. Chapter II details methodology and procedure and identifies the theoretical contributors to the research, particularly Stephen Hawking, Edmund Husserl, John Dewey, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Chapter III discusses of the temporal substrate of the imagination, named the matrix of subjective time. The matrix of subjective time facilitates (1) a synthesis of memory and expectation, (2) an evolving range of possibility and probability, and (3) a fluid juxtaposition of temporal referents that facilitates the conception and construction of new artistic ideas. Chapter IV describes of the temporal dynamics and temporal strategies that surround the artist's transition from creative imagination to creative action. The dynamics are represented as vectors whose summation must produce a disequilibrium in order for concrete creative action to occur. Chapter V magnifies the artist's working rhythm. The artist balances and shifts many temporal components to move the artwork toward completion. These components include: imagination, self-critique , sensory interaction with the materials, sensory perception of the emerging form, the demands of the medium, and documentation. Chapter VI explores the temporally transcendent state of creativity that artists occasionally access. Time dilation is described as the entry point for the experience of creative hyper flow (an extension of Csikszentmihalyi's flow state) in the realm of deep time. Chapter VII presents a summary of the artist's ongoing negotiation of time. By studying the patterns of temporal negotiations that artists experience, we come to a deeper understanding of both time and creativity.