Creativity with Nothing In Mind: A workshop with Sean Kernan
Click! is pleased to partner with Cassilhaus to present this workshop as part of the Click! Academy.
Creativity out beyond thought.
No matter how long we’ve been photographing, the camera that brings us such freedom in the beginning can hobble us in time. The sign is that we start looking for…pictures!
What to do?
Drop that camera. Set the photographer aside.
If you want to make photos that carry you past yourself you'll need a camera, of course, something or other in front of it and you behind it. But beyond all that you'll need to be fully aware, awake.
Spend a day waking up your mind and your vision, letting it wander into other realms by dropping any carefully curated ideas and see what else is there. Practice in a new way.
We’ll use some improvisational theater games, some sounds, some paint and brushes, and some words. We'll use them to see our seeing and expression, working on our feet and in our minds and bodies.
As Paul Valery said "seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees."
I've worked out an approach to creativity with photographers, of course, but with artists of all kinds, with psychiatrists, with staff at Yale Medical School, designers at AIGA, with editors and writers, with women with serious illnesses. Sean Kernan has done these exercises with former child soldiers and street and former child soldiers in Africa. And process works with all of these people.
The process is not New Age fluff and it’s not critical thinking. It is audacious doing, for artists, photographers, and humans
Sean Kernan is a photographer, writer, and teacher. He came to photography from theater, and is the author of two monographs, The Secret Books (with Jorge Luis Borges) and Among Trees. He has produced and directed two documentaries, The Kampala Boxing Club, about boxing in Africa, and Crow Stories, about the Crow Tribe of Montana.
He has exhibited at galleries and museums accross the US and the world, including: Centre Regional de la Photographie, Duchy, France; Biblioteca Alexandrina, Egypt; Photosynkiria, Thessaloniki, Greece; William Benton Museum; Museo de la Ciudad, Queretaro, Mexico; Friends of Photography (San Francisco); Wesleyan University, Connecticut; Whitney Museum (New York), and has created media performance pieces at Mass MoCA and Guggenheim Projects in New York, mosagt recently a theater/dance/multimedia piece, The Drowned Man.
His photos have been published in the New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, New York, Harpers, Bloomberg, Communication Arts, Graphis, Polyrama (Switzerland), Photo World (China), as well as magazines in Iran, Greece, Italy, and Switzerland, and has done a wide range of advertising work for clients such as AT&T, Amex, GE, Pratt & Whitney, Dow Jones, Harvard, and Knoll,
He has taught and lectured at the New School/Parsons, Art Center (Pasadena), Yale Medical School, International Center for Photography, University of Texas, Wesleyan University, and has won numerous awards, most recently from the Center in Santa Fe for teaching, as well as a Doctorate(HC) from Art Center in Pasadena. He writes about creativity, the arts and commerce, with articles in Communication Arts, Graphis, and Lenswork, among others.