The world map that I created was done through the application of chance and the creation of “on the spot” ideas. I utilized influences from modern sword and sorcery genres as my discipline is in game design, which utilises level, map and world creation across the discipline. My aim was to demonstrate that the creation of a product does not neccesarily mean that the end result will be original, but that a product will demonstrate a degree of individuality if the application of chance is involved and personal experience is contributed. I applied a degrees of secondary process thinking through the process of “filling in” the map with towns, mountain ranges, forests, mythological creatures and the use of Jung’s archetypes. (acts of creativity through the process, creative individualism)
My original idea for the world map came to me while I was busy at work. It happened while my mind wandered when doing a tedious, but not challenging task of shoveling mud into a wheelburrow. This is similar to Lawrence Kubie’s Transliminal chamber, where mental activity enters an area between the concious mind and the unconscious mind to foster creativity (Davis, 2004). Harold Rugg (Davis, 2004) emphasized “off-conscious” mental activity fosters creativity, and described this transliminal chamber as a “center of creative energy (Davis, 2004). The act of shovelling mud is repetitious and draws energy from the body, creating a moment where the body is engaged doing something, leaving the mind left to do its own thing, and at the same time heart rate is elevated and oxygen consumption is increased. These conditions provided a means to enter the area between conscious and unconscious mental activity. During this moment, the idea of creating a world illuminated my mind, and for the rest of the activity of shovelling mud, I played with this idea.
My main concern while playing with this idea was the question “Is this creative?”. Wolf (2013) notes that imaginary world creation has been present for at least three thousand years, with the earliest example been Homer’s Odyssey, which featured imaginary islands (Wolf, 2013). However, Wolf (2013) also notes a difference between primary and secondary imagination process’, with primary imagination being our unconscious processors which allow us to make sense of the world, and secondary imagination being our logical processors which allow us to dissolve, diffuse and dissipate the semiotic world around us to generate something new (Wolf, 2013). These primary and secondary imagination processors are similar to that of Freuds primary and secondary process thinking, in which Freud goes on to say that creativity is an outcome of a unconscious neurotic conflict between the two process (Davis, 2004). Wolf (2013) highlights that while the use of primary imagination is unconscious, secondary imagination is a conscious and deliberate act, and thus constitutes it as a creative act (Wolf, 2013). However, Wolf also notes that secondary imagination needs limitation in order to create properly and usefully, as without limitations, the end result will be a random jumble of unbelievable creations (Wolf, 2013). Considering primary process imagination, Oceans and land masses have generally constituted a habital world, so unconsciously my imagination dictates that these are two necessary elements required in a creation of a believable world. I chose the colour blue for ocean, and green for land, which is another unconscious way of representing the two elements. In order to impose limitations on my secondary process however, I let chance dictate the positioning, appearance and characteristics of the land masses.
My decision to let chance dictate the layout of the landmasses was to create a aesthetic layout that was completely removed from my consciousness and possible unconscious influences. Dadaists were especially fond of chance as it allowed them to disconnect with conciousness when creating their art (DADA-Techniques-Chance, 2006). It also allowed them to make a critique of technical excellence (DADA-Techniques-Chance, 2006). By incorperating chance, a creative piece gains an individualism which can be difficult to reproduce. For example, Marcel Duchamp dropped three identical pieces of string with identical relation to conditions with each other, yet they produced three distinctly different outcomes (Molderings, 2010). This is significant as it works against a deterministic view that a process taking place within identical conditions will have an identical outcome (Molderings, 2010). This means that the world map will be individual, and interference from my consciousness and unconsciousness will be minimized, thus meaning another individual should not create something which looks very similar.
I used the real world map as templates for my land masses, and I did this by printing off a map, outlining continents, which I then glued to cardboard, cut out, and then traced each continent four times onto green paper. I then cut these tracings out, compiled them into a container and threw them onto the blue sheet of paper which represents the ocean. My first go was a failure, as they all came out as a joined pile. My second attempt was more successful, however they were still somewhat close to each other, and so I spread them out to utilize the space on the blue paper. I then glued them onto the blue paper. I then utilised Mednick’s mental associations (Davis, 2004), and where there was a piece on top of another piece, I drew in triangles to connote mountain ranges, and represent the interactions of plates on our own world. I then engaged my secondary imagination and thinking process, and added towns, cities, trade routes, sea monsters, lakes and star signs, the later of which take the forms of Carl Jungs archetypes. My aim in introducing all these was to fill the map and add depth, and also hide the shapes of our real world continents underneath all of this, as to create a secret code and a way for the viewer to identify with the world.
While I have not demonstrated Csikszentmihalyi’s requirements of creativity (Davis, 2004), I believe my world demonstrated creativity, because I created a world out of raw materials of paper and pen. The idea of for my project came to me while I was entering a transliminal state whilst at work. To engage in an unconscious form of creativity, I incorporated chance into my process, and then engage my secondary imagination process to fill in the map with mental associations and hide the real world referents underneath it.
DADA-Techniques-Chance (2006). Retrieved from:
Davis, G. A. (2004). Definitions and Theories.
Creativity is forever (pp. 58-73). (5th Ed.).
Molderings, H. (2010). Duchamp and the Aesthetics of Chance : Art as
Experiment. New York, NY, USA: Columbia University Press.
Wolf, M. J. P. (2013). Building Imaginary Worlds : The Theory and History of
Subcreation. [Electronic Resource]. Taylor and Francis. Retrieved From: http://www.ecu.eblib.com.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=1211703&echo=1&userid=EEB55BA92D&tstamp=1401683742&id=746ae6f91268156ad8d032123e605c3eae4dd06c&extsrc=shib-eppn