‎benjamin brenner‎

This class taught me to explore the inspirations, processes, and emotions behind my actions and my creations.  It looked at the method of creativity, not just creativity itself, and how that relates to the elusive ideas of identity and art.

These two facets of creativity are, no doubt, essential in defining the term.  Five weeks of being immersed in creativity and creation has a way of making sense of the elusive idea, and coupled with my own personal experiences has allowed me to revamp my initial definition into something more encapsulating.  By no means is this definition final.  I can say with certainty that it will continue to change with my experience and with my future creations, as it has in the mere five weeks I spent in the course.  Creativity, because of its ties to the self and our identity, is, at its heart, a dynamic concept, apt to change and adapt to different settings, different mindsets, and different stages in life.  Thus, any definition I can offer will be, at best, a snapshot.  It will be a current take on an ever-changing idea.  This is my snapshot:  creativity is a piece of the self, expressed a way that produces meaning. 

~~ Benjamin Brenner

Ben Brenner

"In the Timothy Greenfield-Sanders exhibit, each photo contains a piece of the model and the photographer.  These pieces manifest themselves in the images on the wall, and separately they create separate meaning to the viewer.  Together, however, collaboration allows these photographs to create a much greater meaning, touching on issues of race, poverty, and influence.  Our collaboration for our installation acted in a similar manner.  Each of our individual performances, when viewed alone, would say something about each individual.   Picture only one of us in a mask walking down the grid saying, “I haven’t found my people yet.”  The result is entirely different than the result of all of us scaling the grid and saying those words.  

Yet the result is also not simply twenty-five students walking toward the audience in a group, with some singing and some speaking.  Twenty-five individual meanings coalesce to create one whole, a more significant and substantial meaning than its fragmented parts.  We walked toward the audience, asked who our people were, replied we had not found them yet, and upon reaching the audience we removed the mask and found them.  It created meaning in the interaction between the performers and audience, and in the group transforming from seemingly lost and veiled to found and unearthed.  The effect was multiplied by collaboration."