Madness, chaos, complexity and bricolage

Araoz, Gonzalo (2009) Madness, chaos, complexity and bricolage. In: 2nd Making Sense of Madness Conference, 14-17 September 2009, Mansfield College, Oxford, UK. (Unpublished) Full text not available from this repository.

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Bricolage is a term used in several disciplines, among them the visual arts and literature, and it is often described as the notion of creating or constructing something using a range of objects that happen to be available (Oxford Dictionary). As a design concept, bricolage refers to building by experimentation or ‘trial and error’ as opposed to production according to some predetermined pattern. As such it allows the bottom-up, or inside-out emergence of content and structure rather than one being imposed down from the top. I propose to use this concept as a metaphor to explore and explain the links between madness and creativity. The belief that madness is linked with creative thinking has been held for centuries, and since the 1970’s scientific studies have established an unusually high rate of mental illness (mainly bipolar disorder) amongst highly creative individuals. This has led to further research in the quest to identify more specific connections between the two. Psychologists from the University of Toronto and Harvard University have identified one of the biological bases of creativity. The study’s results suggest that the brains of creative people appear to be more open to incoming stimuli from the environment. It has been observed that decreased latent inhibition of environmental stimuli appears to correlate with greater creativity among people with high IQ. Other people’s brains might shut out the same information through a process called “latent inhibition” which is described as an unconscious mental process to ignore, ‘filter’ or ‘screen out’ stimuli or information that is considered marginal or irrelevant to the task at hand. Given the overwhelming amount of information received constantly by the brain through the different senses, I propose to explore how a decreased latent inhibition can give rise to the juxtaposition of images, sounds and thoughts, and to explain this in relation to the links between madness and creativity, with use of bricolage, chaos and complexity theory.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Journal / Publication Title: n/a
Departments: Academic Departments > Health, Psychology & Social Studies (HPSS) > Applied Psychology and Social Studies
Additional Information: Conference organised by Inter-Disciplinary Net.
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2011 09:32
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 08:45
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