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About creativity - why Mycelium Creative Studio became Mycelium Foresight Studio
When I started to structure my foresight activities I founded a company. It was first called Mycelium Creative Studio. The mycelium metaphor is still valid after several years, and even more and more relevant. On the other hand, the word "creative" seemed to me to be more and more wrong. One day I read "What if we unleash our imagination to create the future we want" by Rob Hopkins. Here is a passage from it below. It finally made me change my mind - knowing why creativity wasn’t the word.
Creativity takes imagination and gives it form, transforming it into something tangible, but brings with it certain constraints. As Royal Holloway (University of London) researcher Oli Mould writes in his book Against Creativity, "the dominant narrative around creativity boils down to the reproduction of the same things. Contemporary capitalism has commandeered creativity in order to ensure its own growth and to maintain the centralization and monetization of what it generates."
Ursula Le Guin speaks of this phenomenon in similar terms: "In the marketplace, the word creativity today means the production of ideas applicable to practical strategies in order to generate greater profits. This semantic restriction is so advanced that the word creative could hardly be further degraded. I don't use it anymore I've given it up to the capitalists and academics to abuse as they please. But they will not have the word imagination..." From this degradation, one easily passes to innovation, which consists in making imagination and creativity into products that can be commercialized, patented and registered.
Source for the quote by ursula le guin - the operating instructions in The wave in the mind talks and essays on the writer the reader and imagination. Shambhala, 2004, p. 207
Antye Greie-Ripatti, mycelium, strategic foresight.
Why discussing an artist's work? I have worked for 15 years in the field of contemporary art. This experience benefits the way Mycelium Foresight Studio and I practice strategic foresight. I believe that art, in its various forms, has a real relevance for the theory and practice of foresight.
Art is a mean to catalyze future change. Artists and designers solve problems, develop visions through the constant movement between analysis, deduction and making. They build on existing practices, they break down forms and reconfigure them; they investigate new technologies and new materials. They build models and prototypes. They make powerful ideas tangible. Art requires the ability to think critically, to ask questions, to act and to make decisions.
Art is unsettling too - it engages in sensory experience, emotion, motivation, play, the rational and the irrational, the uncomfortable, the uncanny and the impressive. These diverse perspectives nourish Mycelium Foresight Studio's philosophy. The companionship with artists becomes a method of exploring possible realities, and strengthened by the methodologies of foresight, Mycelium Foresight Studio allows you to navigate complexity, to make sense of complexity.
Mycelium Foresight Studio is committed to involving artists in its work to stimulate perspectives and results.
Let’s take the example of Antye Greie-Ripatti, born in 1969 in East Germany who now lives as a sound artist, vocalist, producer and music activist in Hailuoto/Finland. She has developed a particular interest in fungi and mycelium because she sees here a metaphor for political activism in the age of the Internet. For her radio composition "Mycelium", Greie-Ripatti therefore sonifies the life functions of forest plants and counterpoints them with the voices of activists from all over the world. The result is a multilingual web of sound that conveys a quiet but sustainable utopia: Together we are strong. Here, too, small cells network underground to bring about great things, more here.