Panel 6B:(Dis)Order and Creativity (Chair: Josianne Mamo)


Join us tomorrow at 14.50-16.10 at 4 University Gardens, Room 202

Language is an unnatural and restrictive medium of communication. As V. N. Voloshinov (1924) observes, to face the blank page is an extremely daunting experience for the writer. ‘When we are in lively conversation’, Voloshinov notes, ‘we are totally unaware of the severe restrictions that language imposes on us’. Yet – disputable linguistic oblivion notwithstanding – to face the blank page is to be forced to order one’s collected thoughts, demonstrating mastery over them, and accomplishment in navigating and innovating language and form.

Discussions of writing as a therapeutic tool focus around four key concepts: communication, catharsis, control, and cyclical break (Kinman, 1993). It is the third which we shall explore most thoroughly, as we examine the ability to order one’s thoughts on the printed page as internal regulation. As Jerome Bruner (1998) argued, human explanation of fact, by nature, creates narrative. We have to establish a sense of control over perceived events in order to explain them. The fact in question is prioritised in a narrative hierarchy, preceding and subsequent events are naturally reviewed to establish order and relativise the case in point. Explanation, therefore, is derived from narrative connection and prioritisation, order is born from chaos in order to streamline the psychical response.

The highly contrasting poetry of T. S. Eliot and Lyn Hejinian serve as diverse case studies in an exploration of narrative order. Eliot’s authoritarian tenet of the Objective Correlative, coupled with his evident discomfort with the human landscape of wartime and postwar London, leads to a promising discussion of his writing as a therapeutic construction. Conversely, Lyn Hejinian rejects the restrictions of narrative control in order to democratise the importance of each event. Yet she herself may be seen as imposing a form of control, via resistance. Either way we shall explore how the blank page is overcome, and the reverberation of that conquest on the creator’s psyche.


Practitioners in different fields adopt disparate tools to produce work. Artists draw, photograph, walk, and use chance processes, amongst other methods. Dancers and choreographers have also drawn, used chance, and walked as well. Considering methods as essential tools to foster creativity, this talk addresses how artists in different fields may learn from each other’s processes of making.

Focusing specifically in installation artists and choreographers, how might choreographic strategies be applied in visual arts? In the last five years, dance forms have taken over visual arts venues, in a tendency to show dance within exhibition settings (for instance, Tino Sehgal at Tate Modern and Documenta’13, Siobbhan Davies at ICA, and Alexandra Pirici at Venice Biennale). My research enquires how this tendency towards the choreographic impacts methodologies in visual arts, and how it may evolve in the next few years.

Wayne McGregor sees choreography as a “process of physical thinking” W. McGregor, 2012) that operates in the mind and the body, developed through a collaborative cognitive process. Jonathan Burrows considers choreography as a process of choice and of arranging objects approaches emphasize the methodological aspect of the term, and share principles with visual arts processes. This talk considers a translation of choreography as a method for the visual arts, as well as an understanding of its inherent implications in contemporary artistic practice.


In the context of a creative work, how does one reconcile mythologies which may share certain components but which for linguistic, cultural, or historical reasons exist as two separate entities? Ghost stories have been the focus of my research: specifically, ghosts in the Chinese and Western (primarily American) traditions. In the Chinese literary context, ghosts are a given, an almost-ubiquitous motif. This may be an extension of the pervasive belief in and acceptance of ghosts in the culture, influenced by traditional Chinese views on the nature of the soul. In contrast, in many Western cultures, ghosts are seen more as aberrations, which may play a part in the fact that ghost stories occupy a unique literary space and are generally expected to conform to a certain set of rules. Although these statements risk gross oversimplification, they are relevant for a creative writer who needs a starting point in order to approach the work; in my case, I have needed to create a larger mythology in which both types of ghost stories can exist in the novel I am writing — ideally, without causing a reader familiar with both literary traditions to experience a disruption in his or her suspended disbelief via the distraction of cognitive dissonance. By looking not only at ghost stories from both traditions but also at studies of syncretic religion, I will attempt to show that it is possible to construct an ontological framework that preserves the respective integrities of two mythologies that are at best only partially convergent


Last Minute TOP TIPS!

As we put the finishing touches to our plans we wanted to send out a few top tips:


1. Please arrive early to the Sir Alwyn William’s Building, 5th Floor lecture room at 09:15. Latecomers may be refused entry

The first twenty-five ticket holders to arrive at registration will receive one of our specially designed delegate pack and tote bags *but* if you are late you may be refused entry. (the lift doors open directly into the 5th floor lecture room which make it very disruptive for the speaker)

Coming from the city centre the nearest underground station is HILLHEAD and the nearest bus stop is the number 4 on UNIVERSITY AVENUE.  Both are just five mins walking distance from the Sir Alwyn Williams Building (located behind the Queen Margaret Union at the end of University Gardens, which is a new building with a sign for the school of Computing Science on the door.)

Once inside the building, use the lift to get to the 5th floor but please be aware that the doors open directly into the room. (i.e. we can hear you!)

2. But if you are late…

Out of courtesy we ask that you do not enter midway through a talk or speech, in particular the speakers in the Sir Alwyn William’s building

Tues – 10:05-11:05 / 16:15-17:30

Wed – 09:35-10:35 / 16:20-17:30

After 11:15 registration will move to 4 University Gardens, room 205, next to the panel presentation rooms. Please check in there to pick up your delegate pack and make arrangements for the conference meal.

3. Keep up to date #GlasgowPGCreativity

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact your chairperson or the committee ( ). Organisers will have name badges and will also be happy to help. Other places to look for information and updates include facebook and Twitter –  @creativity2015         #GlasgowPGCreativity

We look forward to meeting you very soon and sharing a jam-packed few days of exciting ideas.

All the best,

The organising committee.

Panel 5B Unsuitable/Taboo Creativity

13:05-14:25, 27th May – 4 Uni Gardens Room 201

We’re pleased to introduce Ambreen Shehzad Hussaini, Alejandra Jaramillo-Vázquez and Zanne Domoney-Lyttle, who will speaking about unsuitable/taboo creativity in practise (Chair: Emily Harris).

Ambreen Shehzad Hussaini is currently doing a Masters of Arts in Muslim Cultures. At the moment, she is working on “Understanding an artistic expression of the Qur’an”.

Alejandra Jaramillo-Vázquez is studying for a PhD in Sociology at the University of York. Alejandra’s thesis is about public policies and their everyday practice. In particular, she examines how a cultural policy – concerning arts education and creativity – is put into practice in an arts organisation in Mexico City.

Zanne Domoney-Lyttle, in the first year of her PhD research at the University of Glasgow, focuses on contemporary interpretations of God in her work, specifically in the context of imagining God in comic books and graphic novels.

Ambreen and Alejandra will be presenting 20-minute papers on their current work, and Zanne – after introducing her own area of study and a selection of the texts she is working on – will lead a discussion in reference to the two papers about unsuitable/taboo creativity; its risks, the un/acceptability of art, where/how it occurs, and wider issues such as free speech and freedom of artistic expression.

Rail Travel Disruption Mon 25th-Tue 26th May

Please note: if you are planning to reach us by train there will be a significant disruption to all services on main the West Coast mainline and Scot Rail over Monday 25th May (a Bank Holiday) and Tuesday 26th May.



Alternative travel options include bus and coach services from London and elsewhere (see National Express and Megabus)

Please check with your travel provider and notify your chairperson if you feel you will be late. Best of luck with your journey, we do appreciate all the efforts you may go to to reach us!

Panel 4B: Philosophy of Creativity

What is the connection between free will and creativity? Is creativity the foundation of all knowledge? Can the fluidity of water and music be templates for the creative form as force? Three fascinating papers explore intriguing philosophical questions at the heart of the creative process.

Panel 4B: Philosophy of Creativity (Chair: Ioulia Kolovou), Wednesday 27 May, 10.40-12.00, 4 University Gardens, 202.

Sam Quill: ‘Creation and the Problem of Free Will: Plato, Hume, Godwin, Shelley.’

In 1821, Percy Shelley translated Plato’s Ion. “And as the power of the [magnetic] stone circulates through all the links of [the] series and attaches each to each, so the Muse communicating through those whom she has first inspired to all others capable of sharing in the inspiration the influence of that first enthusiasm, creates a chain and a succession. For the authors of those great poems which we admire do not attain to excellence through the rules of any art but they utter their beautiful melodies of verse in a state of inspiration and, as it were, possessed by a spirit not their own.” Familiar Classical notions of ‘inspiration’ stress a poet’s lack of agency in the processes of creation. Later, such notions were profoundly influential upon Romantic ideas of ‘creative genius’. But these Romantic iterations of the trope are complicated under the influence of a sceptical Enlightenment epistemology (in Shelley’s case, one learned in particular from his reading of David Hume and William Godwin) which reduces ideas of ‘cause’ and ‘effect’ to the constant conjunction of impressions. Such scepticism entails a concomitant philosophical anxiety about the reality, or otherwise, of free will. If a poet’s will is determined, what can it mean to ‘cause’ a poem to exist? Classical notions of ‘inspiration’ are thus refigured under a new epistemological rubric, which, nonetheless, retains the ancient uncertainties about where poetry ‘comes from’. Taking Shelley’s translation of the Ion as its central text, my paper will interrogate Shelley’s response to his philosophical reading, ancient and modern, as he seeks understand the relationship of the poetry he writes to the world, and to the mind, from which it appears to issue. If Humean scepticism offers a way out of the problems which attach to the hardline necessitarianism which Shelley inherits from William Godwin, it also poses new and significant problems of its own, as the tyrannical chains of necessity give way to the threat of intellectual impotence implied by systematic doubt.

Iraklis Ioannidis: ‘On the metaphysics of creativity.

In this paper, I would like to reflect on the works of Feyerabend, Lyotard, Malcolm, Nietzsche and Wittgenstein to support the claim that Creativity is the foundation of all knowledge. The ancients had two words to convey what we refer today as ‘creativity’: poiesis and demiourgia. The first, very individualistic, referred to one’s individual doings; the person was a poet. The second was the work (ergon) of the collective (demos). The poet created based on his own criteria yet the demiourgos, created based on collective criteria. Yet both were producing or reproducing in some way; their expression had the value of some kind of knowledge. Both were also called artists. It was all a matter of aesthesis, what was pleasurable or fulfilling in the organs of sense or useful and practical in the everyday life. Nowadays the ancient category ‘poet’ is that of the ‘artist’ whose expression as knowledge is far inferior that that of the eastern ‘scientist’ and even far more inferior that that of the western ‘scientist.’ The artist is creative whereas the scientist is scientific. But isn’t true that the greatest scientific discoveries and advancements in knowledge happened when the scientist worked in the scientific community as an artist? The changes of scientific paradigms or paradigms of knowledge were not an expression of demiourgia, they did not follow the rules of the language game of the (scientific) community; rather, they were poiesis, a breaking of the rules or an individual expression or an expression of an individualistic revaluation of them. Creativity as poiesis is the foundation of all knowledge which is nothing else but individual expression embraced and lived by the collective.

Chang Seok Choi: ‘Formless Form as Forma Efformans’

Eolgae (Structure) for Symphony Orchestra (2014) is built on a Formless Form that creates a forward-moving directionality through a constant transformation, inspired by the structure of water that has a certain formula (H2O) on a micro level while it has no regular shape on a macro level. Due to its shapelessness on a macroorganism, water can be spring, stream, river, or sea. Also it can be transformed into different substances such as ice, liquid, or water vapour. Whatever shape water has, it is still water!

A formless form is a form in a micro level which converts to a different form in a macro level, not only transforming itself constantly according to its surroundings, but also influencing them. Angela Leighton regards form as a force rather than a shape, supporting Coleridge’s interesting term forma efformans (forming form). This idea enhances the idea of a formless form.

This unique understanding of form as a force which refers to a living form through a constant transformation rather than a dead form (formed form) highlights the distinctive characteristic of a formless form that yields the fluidity in music like that in water.

Day Tickets sold out – limited entry by email only

Day passes for Tuesday and Wednesday are now sold out, however we do have some limited extra capacity for visitors if you email *IN ADVANCE* of Monday 25th. Please state which day you require.

We can’t guarantee delegate packs for everyone but the timetable is available online and we will try to have short programs on the day to distribute and on display with maps and the running order of events.

Extended programs of all bios and abstracts will also be available online shortly.

Thank you again for all your interest, support and enthusiasm for this event, as we enter the final phase of preparations it is really encouraging to know we’ll have such a great audience.

Panel 4A: Panel 4A: Composing, Creating and Collecting

We are delighted to introduce papers by nick-e meville, Katie Forrester and Martin Scheuregger on Wed 10:40-12:00 @ 5 university Gardens, room 101.  Spanning visual, literary and musical methods this should be a fascinating session with a short 15 min Q&A at the end. Look forward to seeing you there

Panel 4A: Composing, Creating and Collecting (Chair Katy Hastie)

nick-e melville – Inside The Ma(d)trix

My creativity makes me so mad I failed to send this abstract on time. This paper will explore the strange world that my PhD forces me to inhabit. My project, an epic found poem called The Imperative Commands, is a collagistic arrangement of gathered found imperatives and assertions, taken from the language of state institutions and corporate bodies that everyone navigates, daily: streets, shops, news, television, advertising, health services, schools.  It aims to address: what are we told as citizens? What do the mechanisms of power want us to believe?  How is the herd managed by language? My initial premise is to gather commands and instructions on a daily basis over one calendar year. After starting to seek out this language, I became aware of the utter ubiquity of marketing ‘copy’ and the interminable task I had set myself. I began to see commands everywhere and then they began to seek me out… I can never have any time off: marketing follows me after the 9 to 5 day, at weekends and on holidays. It’s like I’m inside The Matrix: I can read the code no one else notices. I am trapped by language – as we all are, only most don’t realise to what extent – and I want to share this bitter pill

Katie Forrester -An Illustrators Recipe Book: Approaches to Visual Data Collection

Illustrators seek to visually interpret phenomena in new ways, collecting ephemera and being open to the visual. This compilation of both conscious and unconsciously made influences are an Illustrators recipe book. “Under the surface of all sign-systems is a ‘deep structure’ – something like a genetic programme – which dictates how such systems operate” (Sim & Van Loon, 2009:66). The ‘structure’ and reference we take from our environments are so deeply embedded in memories, that

sometimes, it is hard to think of why a certain element was chosen, an Illustrator has ‘seen it somewhere before’ but often can’t think where. “The visual environment is so fundamental that we do not think about it. We accept the outcomes of art, design, architecture and the proliferation of visual forms, but we fail to acknowledge their status [and] ideals…” (Hoffert, 73:2012). This is true for my own illustration practice, however through my research project, I consciously analyse and document how my illustrations are constructed: what influences affect the outcome and between the signifier and the interpretation of the reader; “As soon as you finish making it, it’s not yours anymore” (Burgerman, 2014). The primary objective of my illustration work is to formulate inclusive approaches to the practice of making illustration for children’s publications. This paper argues that we all share our innate ability to be creative and aims to show how the building blocks of existing visual culture can be disassembled and reassembled in creative compositions for the purpose of retelling traditional tales for children (of any culture) to relate to and learn from.


Burgerman, Jon (2014) Offset Design Festival, Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin, Ireland 21-23 March 2014

Hoffert, Bernard Taking Art Seriously: Understanding Studio Research Accessed: 08/2014

Sim, Stuart & Van Loon, Borin (2009) Introducing Critical Theory: A Graphic Guide London: Icon  Books

Martin Scheuregger – Compositional Practice in and as Musical Research: a Led/Based solution.

Composers have been an integral part of university music departments and the wider academic community for decades. Their contribution made to musical research continues to be rich and varied and, whilst practitioners adopt a variety of approaches, there are two broad views of composition within research. When approached as practice-based, a finished musical work will form the research outcome: new knowledge is gained from the result of the compositional process and originality in procedure and/or result. Alternatively, in taking a practice-led approach, the act of composition may form part of the process but does not solely create the output (the outcome may instead be a traditional article). This paper proposes that such separation is unhelpful, and explores ways in which composition can incorporate both paradigms. Broader issues of creativity within research provide a background that makes the discussion applicable to a variety of fields. The methodology of my PhD will act as an example of the integration of creative practice within research. This work combines composition and musical analysis to explore a series of twentieth-century musical notions associated with time, with analytical case studies and interlinked original compositions synthesised to investigate four themes in a manner that provides insight for both composers and listeners. Conceptual issues are highlighted, their application in new works is demonstrated, and their precedents in extant pieces are explored. This approach sees an end result formed of creative and more traditional elements, both of which contribute to overall research aims. The compositions maintain individual artistic merit, contributing knowledge in a practice-based way, whilst also addressing research questions in the manner of a practice-led approach. Examples from this thesis will demonstrate the crucial part creativity can play both in and as research, whilst highlighting some tensions and challenges that this approach creates.