art culture logic Philosophy

The Creativity of Cultural Erasure

Every act of creativity and recombinatory cultural reconfiguration is both additive and subtractive – it is an addition of complexity and structure and is simultaneously the systemic logical negation of existing methods and strategies of organisation and thought.

The subtle or substantive subtext of this image (above), implicit and unspoken, is that of negation, deletion, erasure. What depths might dwell in acknowledgement of the fact that every creative act is simultaneously an addition and a subtraction, a multiplication and a division, an exponentiation and a recombinatory partition?

Every creative gesture, thought, action and symbolic or linguistic frame of reference is always, and indelibly so, both assembly and dissasembly. We recombine artefacts, concepts, words, referential or semantic systems and entities into new or information-laden (a.k.a. novel and new or unexpected and surprising) configurations and iterative, recursive reconstellations. This represents the hyper-inflation of thhe evolving metamorphosis of material culture and cognitive or conceptual vocabularies; this is the amplification and accumulative side of this equation.

On the other side of this is a necessary function of negation and erasure: every extension of a (logical) system of reference, representation and meaning is also that foundational and recursive, self-referential extensibility through which all material, mathematical and living systems expand their scope, presence and internal complexity. Each assertion of novelty is an extension, structiral challenge and logical negation of the preexisting matrix and methods of cognition and of ways of being.

A systemic extension of art and creativity is a logical inflection and erasure of the assumptions upon which previous cognitive and ideological methods have been cultivated. There is no end to this recursive logical erasure; it is how we all grow and live and it is how the Universe autonomously processes information and energy through the self-propagating shockwave passing through a transmission medium of material artefacts, cultures and minds.

Viewed from a holistic perspective, all novelty and procedural or developmental creativity represents logical inflection, systemic insight and, at paradigm-transforming moments, processes of axiomatic reconfiguration. At a holistic level of analysis, in fact, the process of logical negation being described here and that is implicit in all creativity is that mischievously self-inflected replication of an entire system of cultural, cognitive or material artefacts within itself. Systemic extensibility is implicit, endemic, distributed and recursively self-similar.

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