November 3, 2009 – Creativity and laughter

1.      Anne-Marie Pipan
2.      Chris Roos

1.      Megan Lindsey
2.      Elizabeth Pappas

McClurken Videos:

Urses Wehrli Tidies Up Art

Larry Lessig on Laws that Choke Creativity

Amy Tan on Creativity

Stuart Brown says play is more than fun

McClurken Articles

A big mystery: Why do we laugh?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3077386/

Creative Workspaces
http://creatingminds.org/articles/creative_workspaces.htm

Laughter is the Best Medicine
http://www.helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm#

40 Comments

  • *O’DONNELL’S CLASS READ THIS POST!!!*
    Im having trouble posting videos so Im going to post the links to them here… sorry about the technical difficulties!

    Videos:
    Vik Muniz makes art with wire, sugar
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/vik_muniz_makes_art_with_wire_sugar.html

    Urses Wehrli Tidies Up Art
    The first video on McClurken’s list.

    Articles:
    Why we laugh
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3077386/#storyContinued

    The Benefits of Laughter
    http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/06/04/pl.laughter/index.html

    RIGHT VS LEFT BRAIN CREATIVITY QUIZ
    http://www.wherecreativitygoestoschool.com/vancouver/left_right/rb_test.htm
    PLEASE EMAIL YOUR RESULTS TO: mlindsey@mail.umw.edu

  • O’Donnell

    I didn’t read the post, but I think it’s odd about all this right brained left brained business. They proved that was a scientific scam. It has nothing to do with personality. This topic is worded oddly. Laughter and creativity don’t seem to relate, really, and that shows in the choices of videos and articles. I have a headache. I hope we talk about thepiratebay and copyright laws that destroy creativity. That would be nice.

  • The video with Vik Muniz showing us his creations from thread, wire, cotton and such were interesting and fun to watch but, what about it? I think that he is a creative person but I also think that every person, including a kid in 1st grade who is doing finger paints, is a creative person.

    The article on why we laugh and the benefits of laughter were already things that most of us know but if you didn’t, you now know to take laugh yoga or join a laugh group.

    Tomorrow should be a pretty unanimous talk with most of us agreeing that laughter and creativity are a good thing.

  • O’Donnell

    Both of the videos were comical, which I think is where creativity and laughter are meeting in this topic. However, I hope we get into more distinct issues of creativity because laughter-evoking creation is such a narrow slice of creation as a whole. I really enjoyed Wehrli’s talk on tidying up art, and loved Muniz’s pre-Columbian coffee. Like Edmund, I’d also like to hear people’s opinions on copyright laws.

  • McClurken

    Larry Lessig’s talk really caught my attention because I think that a lot of things that are said to be a copy write are not. I get saying the images, sound and or facts are from somewhere else. I don’t get saying that something is copy written when you change something in a way no one has thought of. This can go back to Urses Wehrli’s talk he remade the art and he wasn’t told you can’t do that it’s copy writing.

    On the subject of laughter the first article “Why Do We Laugh?” was interesting. I agree that laughter is contagious and it’s a social thing. I’m looking forward to this discussion.

  • O’Donnell

    I’ve always thought that laughter is the best medicine, and i still strongly believe in that. The Vik Muniz video was really interesting to watch. He took simple things and turned them into a piece of art. The Urses Wehrli video was more on the humorous side than the first video. Both were fun to watch though.

    I’m interested to see where this talk leads tomorrow.

  • Urses Wehrli Tidies Up Art video was really interesting. He talked about how each of the pieces are messy and all over the place but that to me, that is creativity. It allows everyone to interrupt each piece differently. I like his point about how something that seems to be orderly can lead to complete chaos. Creativity allows us to create worlds of our own, it allows us to explore new ideas but is something we cannot be ashamed of or hold back. I think a lot of people are hesitant to share their ideas sometimes because they are different and unusual but we need to open up and utilize our creative minds more often.

    I liked Stuart Brown’s video. We don’t need a purpose to play or laugh. I believe that social play is one of the most effective things that we can do to make ourselves feel better and happy. The feeling and comfort we get out of being around other people can create happiness that could never be duplicated when you’re by yourself.

    Laughter is definitely the best medicine.

  • O’Donnell

    I do not know where the discussion will be headed tomorrow. I believe that it will rest on the hands of the group leaders. I thought both of the talks were interesting, though I enjoyed Wehrli’s talk more. I just think his talk was more in sync with the title of this theme: creativity and laughter.

    I do believe laughter is the best medicine. I know when I am laughing a lot with a group of friends all of my worries go away. Laughter takes me to a world where there are no worries or cares. I know when I am not happy or laughing, I am usually stressed out and thinking too much about life in general.

    –Stacey Peros

  • Vik Muniz’ video was really interesting and yes, he is very creative, but I think everyone has a creative side somewhere. I am with Dacey on this one; where is this talk going? The videos were both interesting but I really don’t know what the outcome of this is going to be.

    Laughter is definitely the best medicine and the feelings and comfort you gain by being around others creates feelings like no other. Being social is the best thing to gain this feeling.

    I truthfully think it is the dumbest thing ever to take a laughing yoga class in order to laugh. I mean really, a laugh group? WHAT!?

    This will be an interesting talk.

  • The videos were very interesting talking about creativity and laughter. The only video that caught my attention was Lessig’s talking about copy right. It caught my attention because the incident with the Ed Hardy art work was a great example of her talk. Since Ed Hardy got in trouble for his copy right of artwork, and then making millions selling the art work on the clothing market making millions.

    Looking at kkutnak post about, “Why do we laugh?” Well I think laughing has to deal with what maturity level we are at. Because some people at different maturity levels find certain things funny than others. I think we also have to understand something to think it is funny or we just laugh to hide our stupidity. Can’t wait to see how this discussion is going to go!!!

  • McClurken

    I think this is going to be a really great topic to talk about! The first video was hilarious, I didn’t understand the relevance, but it did get my stress out and helped relax me, as the second article stated. I agree with the second video in that laws are constricting our creativity, but I think our generation as a whole don’t really pay attention to copyright laws as much because they are so abundant today, therefore make videos copying and mashing songs and whatnot. With the third video, I was actually talking about this with my boyfriend because I never really considered the many possible ways that people could look at why things actually happen; I believe in coincidences while he doesn’t as much. Coincidence? Accident? Luck? Fate? I completely agree with the fourth video in that those who create things and use their hands will be able to solve more problems and figure things out logically. Playing is a basic survival skill and we need to laugh and have fun in order to live a healthy life! <3

  • McClurken

    So I think that this could be an interesting talk, but the creativity side perhaps offers more to discuss than laughter. We all instinctively know that laughter is good for us; if we didn’t, we’ve certainly been told often enough!

    As far as creativity goes, in the first talk, I wonder whether art can be looked at objectively, and if so, to what extent? There are some formal aspects to the visual arts, but it is the deviations from those that are creativity. From the second video, I agree that copyright laws are at times too stringent, but I feel that we have to protect the integrity of an artist. We can’t open everything up for the world to change, because then there will be no incentives for artists to create. So how do we create and define the boundaries for appropriate use? When does the use of something constitute piracy? Here’s where I think something like Creative Commons comes in: http://creativecommons.org/ .

    Amy Tan’s talk made me wonder how we identify a muse for us to nurture, or if we need to? Should we encourage every minor talent of every kid, like her to play the piano or become a doctor?

    As far as play goes, I think the most interesting discussion point will be how we define play, but I’m interested to see what the group leaders have planned.

  • McClurken

    That first guy was pretty funny. I’m not exactly sure how he was able to figure out how to simply all of those paintings. But then again i know practically nothing about art. One i would never look to simply a painting, and two if i was asked to simplify it, i doubt mine would look anything like his. I guess this is what makes art. It is 100% about creativity. I really liked how the second guy was able to manipulate like anime and turn it into those funny music videos. I found it very interesting when he mentioned that anyone with a 1500 dollar computer would be able to produce something like this if they wanted to. Whenever i think of things like this, i think of it taking some pretty high tech equipment to be able to make it all happen. With technology changing and allowing anyone to make things like this, it definitely opens up the opportunities people have to show off their creative skills, or even help people become creative. It never hurt anyone to be a little more creative, i definitely could use a lot more creative skills. The fourth guy talking about play was very entertaining as well. If i hadn’t already seen the video about the polar bear and wolf playing, there is no way i would ever imagine that outcome even being remotely possible. The fact that even animals can sense when play is wanted is simply amazing. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a nice play session with a polar bear.

  • I love laughing, being creative and art! The two videos were humorous and captivating. This topic seems very interesting but I don’t know how we’re going to capture the idea of creativity. Everyone is creative in a way as others said in the previous posts. Creativity is what makes a person unique because I think everyone has a different sense of being creative. For example, I hate modern art; I don’t get the principle of it but I love the fact that an artist can make anything different or be creative in his or her specific way. Also person doesn’t even have to be involved in art to be creative.

    I also believe laughing has the same principle, it just depends on what he or she finds funny. I hope everyone laughs at something in his or her lifetime because if you don’t your really missing out.

  • McClurken
    Ursus Wehrili was an amazing speaker. It was probably the only video I watched with full attention the whole way through. I think it is interesting how his mind thought of organizing these modern art pieces that were meant to be a break in ordered rules the art world conformed to previously. I think cleaning up art is art and is creative and is funny too! I laughed when he put all the paint back in the cans and just thought how amazingly creative this all was. If I had the time I would defiantly as a hobby start cleaning up some art!
    Larry on the other hand was boring, but his talk held the most truth for me. It is damaging for children who are creating videos that the law deems against copy write to know that what they are doing is “bad” but they still do it anyway because its just how the times are. Instead of watching T.V. we are creating it, with youtube. Countless times I have gone to watch a video on youtube and the sound was taken away because it was against copy write. That is pretty disappointing- the videos are really good even without the sound and I know with the song they would be the masterpieces the creators intended for them. However there are, like Larry pointed out, the extreme sides to this which really is copy write. Nothing is new, its just the music with the lyrics typed out. I agree that this shouldn’t go on.
    WHAT in the world was Amy Tan rambling about? I couldn’t keep up. It was too long, and I don’t even know what she said. All I know is the dog she pulled out of that bag was the most adorable animal! And that it is really well behaved to stay in that bag the whole time without moving.

  • O’Donnell

    I think creativity and laughter tend to be put in the same category many times. Laughter is based more on our sense of humors or basically what we find as funny or fun. Creativity is more how well you improvise under certain circumstances or some people like to refer creativity as something to do with art. Its an OK topic but we know what makes us laugh some more than others. Also it’s natural that some people are more creative than others.

  • I feel as though this is a very important topic. Creativity has helped the world solve many problems, produce the greatest of technologies and medicines, and given us good music and good art. When I think of creativity, I always think of musical or artistic abilities. I also believe that when people are creative they are the best writers. I have trouble being creative and feel as though it hurts my ability to write as my mind works best with concrete operations. This has also hindered my ability to play guitar as you have to flow with the sound and I think of steps which is the complete opposite. Creativity is about being able to create new ideas in all situations.
    Laughter is also very important. It is even true that laughter is the best medicine for you as it releases endorphins and also burns calories. Those times in which you laugh are the times you remember the most. Those are the memories you share. It the “Why do we laugh?” reading it said that kids laugh more than adults because they play more. This I believe is also due to the fact that people put so much stress on themselves that they don’t give themselves time to go play and laugh more. Why do adults not have to have memorable moments where they can laugh and play? This is another reason it makes me mad when they take recess away from kids. They need to go out and play that is what kids do, taking that away is taking away their laughter and childhood. I’m excited for tomorrows class as it will be exciting to see what everyone else thinks.

  • I really like this topic and I think tomorrow’s discussion has the chance to be one of my favorites. I loved the articles, more so than the videos. I thought that Larry Lessig’s speech was the most interesting and I agreed with the ideas and theories that he proposed. He mentioned that machines are destroying the creativity in the world. I think this is a very accurate statement considering technology and machinery is being created and invented more and more every day. There are machines that are capable of doing the things that normally humans should be doing. I feel like Larry’s comment that eventually we will not even have a vocal chord is so true because machines will be creating everything rather than us. I agreed with the article discussing creativity because it describes the environment necessary for creativity. You need to be in a comfortable environment that stimulates your mind and keeps it active and fit. I love the topic of laughter and I think laughing is the most healthy thing for a person. It is something unconscious, and something contagious.

  • I think everyone can agree that laughter is the best medicine. Everyone enjoys a good laugh no matter what its about. I actually really enjoyed all of these talks all the videos were interesting. Even though I am completely absorbed by comedy and it is in every aspect of my life I am more interested in the creativity portion of this discussion. I completely agree with the fact that creativity is very much dependent on the environment the person in question is in. This talk should prove to be very interesting and intriguing.

  • McClurken
    Without creativity, there would be nothing. No planes trains or automoblies… We would be so boring. We would all be the same. Wearingthe same clothes and speaking the same way. There wouldnt be slang, or a different way to express yourself to people that are closer to you.
    I feel like i am some what creative in a wreckless way. I try new things with no regard for what could happen or how people would judge me.
    Lessigs talk was interesting about copy rights. I agree with what people said above about how hardys work is good example of copyrights, and why didnt he get introuble for making millions.
    Sorry this didnt come sooner, my computer and internet are an everynow and again thing, it comes and comes.
    Tyler

  • I believe that Creativity and Laughter are two different things that are important to everybody. Creativity is a way for expression and to be who you are. Laughter to me is an unexplainable reaction. Laughter is important because it is something to rely on to get me through a long day. Vik Muniz talk was enjoying to watch because he different mediums to create his artwork.

  • Laughter will always be the best medicine. When you’re laughing, you can’t stress. You’ve probably never thought about it but when you laugh, you’re not thinking of anything else. Everyone has the ability to laugh. It’s just that some people have different senses of humor so different jokes appeal to their senses.

    On the subject of being forced to do something (sports, instruments, etc.) I think that it IS necessary to initiate some sort of force to open them up to all sorts of hobbies. But, if over time their child doesn’t enjoy it, then it’s time to find something else to expose them to. This kind of fits in with another one of our other ted talks.

    I definitely think creativity can help with any matter. It opens the doors and allows more possibilities. I think that everyone is born with the ability to do anything, therefore everyone is born with the ability to be creative. It’s just a matter of whether they choose to express it or not. Even if someone’s creativity isn’t AS creative as someone else, they are still creative.

    I feel like all of our Ted talks go along with the fact that everything is basically a matter of opinion.

  • todays talk was pretty interesting but I definitely don’t think we came to any conclusions. I can’t think of any examples against my point that first you learn the basic rules of how to do something and then, and only then, can you twist it or go against it- when you have that background to know what you are talking about. A person who just paints a square isn’t ART because they are just painting a square, not trying to express anything particular. But an artists who knows what colors do and the reaction people have when the look at certain colors and the structure of paintings can then paint this square and it has meaning and is worth taking a look at. I wish we had spent more time discussing laughter. I think that comedians are put on the spot, but also there are ways to learn how to be funny- may it be trial and error finding out what makes people laugh, there is still a way to learn timing and how to be funny. I think all together it was a really good discussion today, even if we didn’t come to a final conclusion- I still feel like we explained why people interpret things the way they are, like why math isn’t seen as creative or as art.

  • Well today’s talk was very mind filling on the topic with creativity. The discussion about creativity really never came to a solution. Though we figured that creativity could mean a broad of things. Creativity to my understanding is coming up with something that is unique, and coming up with something that someone else could not think of. Creativity is just a hard frustrating topic, that led us to the topic of laughter, which is another unresolved topic. Laughter has to deal with the on the person, depending on the maturity level is a reasonable understanding on why people laugh. This topic that took place today was the hardest and most confusing topic we had yet I think.

  • So I really want to go to the Tinkering School that McClurken mentioned his friend ran: http://www.tinkeringschool.com/blog/2005/about/ . Though we didn’t talk about it much, I’ve been thinking about play and how important it is. I think that the view that play prepares us for later activities is too limiting: it prepares us to think creatively. The ability to imagine, crucial to so many children’s games, is an important indicator of ability to think out multiple effects of an action.

    I think the main reason that our discussion today didn’t really come to any conclusions is that we don’t have enough words with specific enough connotations to really distinguish between what we obviously thought were related but distinct subjects. We don’t have the vocabulary to distinguish between different types of creativity that we were discussing.

  • McClurken

    Art vs. creativity was the center of our discussion today, I would say, and although we already talked about a lot of what we talked about today in the art section, I feel like other ideas popped up. I never really thought about what creativity is and, in reality, everything is creative. I really liked Chris’s definition that creativity is the way we think about doing something, not the actual doing part, which I completely agree with. We may be taught a subject one way, but it is the way we know it and interpret it is what makes us creative. Laughter? I guess we didn’t get into that section too much, but I still believe laughter indeed is the best medicine.

  • O’Donnell

    I thought today’s discussion was alright, it just seemed to drag on for a bit. It was kind of strange to have O’Donnell on Skype, but I guess the class was able to go on that way. I felt that overall even though a lot of people participated in the discussion, I did not really learn anything new from the discussion.

    The entire class pretty much agreed that laughter is contagious. I think it is just a reaction to laugh and smile when somebody else does. Creativity can also be contagious as well. I know that when I hear a great song I am inspired to write a song as well.

    Creativity and laughter are stifled by one’s environment. Sometimes, one’s family and society may not enforce joy or creativity. It can also be the fault of the people themselves. For example, introverts tend to hold back more on their creativity and laughter. I am not saying that they do not have a sense of humor or creativity; it is just that they hold back on it.

    –Stacey Peros

  • Todays discussion went alright, but kind of dragged on. I still am not sure that creativity has anything to do with laughter. I feel that creativity can be found in anything and everything, but it does not necessarily have to be used everywhere. Laughter is definitely contagious, as with creativity. The video we watched showed that easily. I think everyone has a sense of humor within them and creativity can come from personality. Also, laughter is the best medicine for stress or a bad mood. I think those are the best conclusions we came up with today.

    Oh, and I didn’t really dig the skype thing today.

  • McClurken

    We focused more on creativity than laughter in this discussion which was fine. While we never really came up with a solution we still came up with the idea that creativity can be in many forms not just for things like art, music, and writing, but it took us a little while to grasp that concept. I think what was throwing us off was the word creativity. When a person thinks of creativity they immediately think of the arts I think that creativity can be being inventive, which covers a lot more areas than just the arts. I wish we had discussed laughter a little more but over all it was a good discussion.

  • O’Donnell

    What an odd class. O’Donnell through the looking glass was very Willam Gibson meets Tolkien. The topic was very black meets white. We established there really isn’t a relationship between the two except that a sense of humor is a type of creativity.
    Introverts were slammed quite a bit, but I am an introvert and I don’t think I am any less creative. I would say that introverts tend to laugh less, but only on the outside. We don’t laugh at everything funny.
    The most important revelation made (besides that Skyping into a class creeps some people out) is that creativity is not inherently good. I think streamlining some societal aspects allow for better more efficient communication. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. On a side note, if it is broke, do fix it, and thank you to VA for recognizing that.
    GOP: 3 Donkeys: nil

  • O’Donnell
    I definitely agree that having o’donnell on skype was really strange. As a discussion leader I thought it was pretty hard to try and relate laughter and creativity. I think laughter can definitely make people more comfortable and open in certain situations and that could lead to increased creativity, but even that is a stretch.
    On the topic of introverts I don’t believe that we should picture people who are shut in all the time and have no sense of humor. Introverts ca be outgoing and fun loving people its just that they also need alone time as well. I believe that they probably laugh just as much as any other type of person.

  • Our class discussion focused mostly on creativity. I think creativity is how we allow our brains to think in certain ways and how we choose to act on it. I think some people are definitely born more or less creative then others and that there is no real way to teach or train someone to be creative. There are ways to boost creativity and how our brain works but you can’t force anyone to be creative in ways that they aren’t already. Creativity can come in so many forms that it’s hard to define which we discovered in class today. I think that there is no right and wrong, you can’t tell someone something is or isn’t creative if that’s how they see it. Creativity comes in all fashions and forms, some harder to distinguish then others.

  • I thought the creativity and laughter discussion was so so. I felt like we didn’t get anything accomplished. With Mr. Odonnell’s blank stare on the computer screen really topped it off.
    I still believe that everyone is creative in a way. Creativity and laughter is what makes a person unique because I think everyone has a different sense of being creative.

  • O’Donnell

    Honestly I thought the topic we had was very broad. We all established that we laughter makes us feel better and happy. And I felt that creativity was dragged out a little too long because we have alreay discussed creativity. There really wasn’t much more to say. The group leaders did try their best with many questions for us. It was a tough thing to tackle, it would have been easier for the group leaders if the topic was narrowed down. Oh yeah real creepy with Tim looking at us through skype, kind of freaked me out.

  • McClurken

    So, definitely came out of the class way more confused then when i started. Question that is still on my mind, What is creativity and how can it be defined. At first i had an answer, but now i just don’t know. So many different opinions were brought up and then countered on and everyone seemed so passionate about their response. Not being a huge art person, I was very easily persuaded multiple times. Now i’m sitting here pondering the question left helpless with no answers. So basically that class ruined my life!

  • Donnelly Phillips
    November 5th, 2009 at 1:33 am

    I cannot really say why, but I suddenly feel like Math is creative, even after I admitted it was not in the post comment for the previous topic. It is just a different kind of creativity. When we think of creativity, we think of accomplishing a task using all the tools in the world. Different people come up with different contraptions to accomplish tasks using these nearly infinite number of tools. Math is accomplishing these tasks with the minimal number of tools. There are only a few ways to use these tools to accomplish what you want. Some people say “Oh, well gee, creativity is about choosing your own tools and using them the way you want. In math, the tools are chosen for you. All you need to do is put them together.” Learning how to put them together is what mathematics is all about. Math is nothing more than a different slice of creativity. It is the ability to see and execute rules and laws you previously learned. And there may be only ONE way to solve a problem, but it takes a creative mind to see that way, says I. Just like it takes an artistically creative mind to draw or a poetically creative mind to write poetry, a mathematically creative mind is required to perform mathematics.

  • That discussion was pretty decent. For most of the time we talked about creativity which is what everyone seemed to want to talk about, but we never really came to a conclusion about what creativity is. We said it wasn’t just art but it could be anything. I’m not sure if there is a right answer to the question, “What is creativity?”

  • I thought the class discussion was a little slow. We watched a youtube video titled “hahah” which proved that laughter tends to be contagious, but also that different people have different sense of humors. I dont think that a person’s sense of humor has anything to do with creativity. We discussed whether or not people who are creative laugh more. I truly do not see the connection between creativity and laughter. We brought up the idea that the one similarity is that both laughter and creativity are contagious. When you see someone happy and laughing, you tend to crack a smile or laugh because you want to be just as happy. Similarly, when someone thinks of something creative, I feel like the people around the person are inspired and want to think of something new as well. I do not think that introverts should be looked at negatively and I feel like some things said in class tended to be a bit negative. During the class discussion, it was said that introverts are less creative. I think introverts are very creative, but they keep to themselves rather than broadcasting it and sharing it out loud like extroverts. This wasn’t my favorite discussion but I loved being able to talk about laughing and what goes along with it

  • I thought the discussion for creativity and laughter was a pretty good discussion. We rarely talked about laughter, because the arguement between creativity and art arose. Going into the discussion I felt as though creativity was all about the art world and literature and things such as that. But after having the class discussion I look at creativity as if it is just a new way to look at things. People as we discussed can be creative in math and science, this is why I believe many different subjects in math came about. If people had not been creative in those areas we wouldn’t know what we known now, let alone the technology we have now.

  • this discussion was a little weird without tim being there and it put a lot more responsibility on us and to me, it was one of the topics that should never have been an option to sign up for. Not much room for discussion here. Kinda a weird class all together.

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