The Three Stages of Creation

There are three stages of conscious creation, though unconsciousness can factor into them.

They are exploration, experimentation, and execution.

I had a good description of the three written down in a notebook during a caffeine fueled frenzy after a Klein technique class at Labor Gras, but, alas, that notebook is AWOL. Here is a link to an earlier posting on the subject from ’08

Their4, I will begin again.

Exploration is the first stage. It is search before the research. It is the hearsal before the rehearsal. It is the discovery of what exists around you, whether you are in the studio or sitting on the subway thinking about your project. It is discovery/invention of what tools you will be using in your project. Also exploration is the rejection of tools. A work of art is more about what it is not than what it is. Granted all types of infinities exist some are just larger than others.

Experimentation is the second stage. Once the tools have been selected/created, their relationships can be investigated. (Uh oh, passive voice) How do the tools interact? Are you using them as tools or have they become logics or aesthetics? Experimentation is also the stage in which you can begin to figure out more in what direction your project will go.

The final stage is execution – when the work is presented before an audience.

I would say that in the choreo/impro spectrum the size of the triangle is larger towards the choreo end and approaches a dot towards the impro end. But choreo could be made as something to experiment with during the execution phase, the logic of that piece then being more improvisational.

All three phases can happen at the same time or separately. In more traditional (choreo’ed) work, there is more linear progression from exploration to experimentation to execution.

Below are two pictographs about this triumvirate. One has the three on a Cartesian co-ordinate system and the other as a simple triangle, which can be mapped on to the co-ordinate system. I find that the co-ordinate system can be a little misleading as it implies a “0” in relation to the three elements, which as I think about it now does make sense, so maybe it is not so confusing. A work of art that has no exploration, no experimentation and no execution would be not. What would something that has an infinite amount of each?

The first pictograph has the term “Sprecta of Deliberation”. I borrowed and expanded the term “Spectrum of Deliberation” from Nina Martin. I expanded it to Spectra” as I believe that there is a greater than one dimensional difference between choreo and impro.

I appreciate any thoughts and feedback on this subject.


7 Replies to “The Three Stages of Creation”

  1. Each of the three stages can be viewed as a spectrum – how deliberately or un-deliberately the artist engages in them. The upper picture is a basic xyz co-ordinate system. The further from the origin (0,0,0), where the lines meet, the more deliberate that stage.Does this help?

  2. When I look at the xyz coordinate system with the origin being zero activity, I am confused about the possibility of being at any point on one of these three lines at the same time. The visual understanding I get is that the further out you go/deliberate on one axis, the further away you become from the other two elements of creation. Assuming time/deliberation is needed in all three areas in order to create, can one ever be on all three axes at once? (Be at different stages of deliberation within each element?) Visualizing a plane connecting the points helps me out here in being connected to all three elements. What if rather than coming out from the origin, the arrows were pointing inward? Coming from unknown/nothing/everything place into a more focused/specific place, i.e. the creation: choreographed or improvised.I wondered (briefly) about including the negative axes… which only confused me more. So… I wandered back. Nadia L

  3. The xyz coordinate system can be used to describe a point in 3 dimensional space. Each of the three coordinates describes one dimension of a location of the point. If a point has the coordinates 3,4,5, it is 3 units along the x away from the origin, 3 units, 4 units along the y axis away from the origin, and 5 units along the z axis – so somewhere "floating" in space not on any of the axes themselves.You are incorrect when you say that the further along one axis the point is the further it is from the other elements of creation. That point is only further from 0, or no deliberation of that variable. The elements do not "go away" from each other, merely exist in a greater or less degree to 0.The arrows could go inward or just change the scale so that complete deliberation is at the (0,0,0,) point and unknown is out. Just flip the whole thing!I have thought about what a negative amount would mean in this scale. I had a pictograph for that. But as I think it is more of an absolute value(distance from) type of relationship, than positive or negative.How did you come across my blog?

  4. It's Nadia from Texas. Now in Seattle. You sent this post my way a while back after we were talking in Austin about the powerful number three. Just now getting a chance to look at it.

  5. Hey Nadiette,Nice to hear from you. I thought it might be you but wasn't sure. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this stuff. Check out DAG for dance stuff and the 6 Arm Pub on Pine.

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