Gimme the Initial Sparkand the Noise of Connections
My commentary to a LinkedIn post by Stuart Nager, "The Initial Spark"—on creativity in the hypermediated and multitasking Age of the Web:
So the initial spark of creativity is bound to come now in quite a different informational ecology, and surrounded by interruptions and cybernoise. I find this post interesting and well put, it is quite attentive to the distinctive quality of the present-day experience and conditions of writing. For myself, I tend to believe that the initial spark of creativity is favoured by the unexpected connectiveness of multimedia noise—doing half the work of connection for your brain, in a way— but then who knows, perhaps it's a matter of different kinds of brains and other people are numbed by excess noise. Anyway, to look at an additional side of the question, it occurs to me that although we're multimedial now, and we're interrupted constantly, this has always been the case (not in the same way I grant, but think of the Person from Porlock). We are always already multimedial, if only because our body is from the start the original multimedia machine, and an interface for the interaction of different and incommensurable senses (as pointed out by Berkeley in his Essay towards a New Theory of Vision). But I digress. You made me think of an article by Leah Marcus in The Renaissance Computer, "The Silence of the Archive and the Noise of Cyberspace" - what she argued is that our association of writing and silence, the internal train of thought, etc., is a modern development, a product of the age of print. And that the noise of cyberspace may restore to us a more multifarious-hypermedial-interactional (and bodily) relationship to writing and thinking. As is the case here.
Once written, I add as hyperlinks the initial connections which suggested themselves as I wrote the commentary—and others that popped up along the way as I rewrote it and linked it here. For instance, this reflection on the notion of connecting the seemingly unconnected is... somehow connected to the discussion.