How a Painter Paints: An Interdisciplinary Understanding of Embodied Creativity

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Choi S. K., Steve DiPaola: How a Painter Paints: An Interdisciplinary Understanding of Embodied Creativity. In: Proc. Electronic Visualisation and the Arts, pp. 127-134. British Computer Society, London, 2013.



How may we access, represent and preserve the lived experience tacitly embodied in the artist? How may one begin to describe the continuous process of creativity? Artists investigate these questions every day. Their answers lay in their work and it is to these exuvia of expression, the artefacts of experience, which we turn to for our data.

Drawing from the seminal definition of the principles of abstract art posed by Wassily Kandinsky in the early years of the twentieth century, and contextualizing that knowledge in contemporary cognitive metaphor theory (Lakoff & Johnson, 1999), the study attempts to arrive at an understanding of how cognitive structure emerges in pragmatic self-observation during the artistic process. Through application of the concept of “enaction” (Varela, Thompson, & Rosch, 1991), the research proposes a first-person approach to the exploration and derivation of the syntax of interactive creativity.

We attempt to define and visualize (see figures) a cognitive framework capable of representing the artist’s pre-expressive state (the tacit) and its relationship to the final realized artwork on canvas (the trace). An artist’s embodied experience constitutes an experiential understanding of interactive creativity, an understanding that takes as its foundation the practice of intentional expression and reflective self-observation of contextual response (Fig. 1, Fig. 2).


Extended Abstract


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