Ten learnings

Ten valuable learnings have emerged by carefully listening to what the creative practitioners shared with us (see Background section for details).

Identifying emerging themes from each interview led to a total of 34 themes. We then compared, combined, and further questioned and expanded the themes, informed by the full interview transcripts and related literature. This resulted in the following ten learnings, each consisting of one key theme, related themes, and a brief description containing a quote, further relating the learnings to those beyond the Messages in A Bottle and the CreaTures project. On this website, you can filter the messages by the key themes of these learnings, as well as the CreaTures Dimensions and Creative Pathways.

Related themes Agency, Strategy

To be accountable, recognising our own agency and differential powers it carries, and that only in some cultures “epistemology (how you know the world), ontology (what the world is like), and axiology (being good in the world) are separated” (la paperson 2017).

Related themes Embodiment, Intuition

To attune to the more-than-human world – the plural ways of knowing and being, including embodiment, to “notice the strange and wonderful, as well as the terrible and terrifying” (Tsing, Swanson, Gan & Bubandt 2017).

Related themes Patience, Awareness

To cultivate care through dialogic relations, and with humility, patience, and often humor, “tinkering with bodies, technologies, and knowledge, and with people, too” (Mol 2008).

Related themes Accessibility, Equality

To value the process of collaboration as the change itself not a means to arrive at it, creating an accessible condition for everyone to become more charismatic, for “charisma is listening very carefully and responding” (Scott  2012)

Related themes Equality, Data

To do commoning as a concrete action to form relational sites of creative possibilities “in an age that is defined by planetary civil war, growing inequality, and proprietary digital technology … The boundaries of the institution have become fuzzy” (Steyerl 2017).

Related themes Relationality, Mutuality, Decentering, Justice

To respect the more-than-human entanglements, mutual relations enlivening the self, practices, the planet, and everything that makes life. To “know the ways of the ones who take care of you, so that you may take care of them. Never waste what you have taken. Share. Give thanks for what you have been given. Give a gift, in reciprocity for what you have taken. Sustain the ones who sustain you and the earth will last forever” (Wall-Kimmerer 2013).

Related themes Liveness, Environment

To stay feral: to seek (comfort in) the extraordinary – the strange yet familiar, honour lifeways, and resist and mess with the hegemonic systems “to make present life as the antidote to violence” (Sharpe & Hartman 2017)

Related themes Change, Resilience

To become flexible with intentions, expectations, and aspirations, recognising that soft and yielding will overcome the hard and rigid. “Be like water” (Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching).

Related themes Play, Hope

To understand that imagination is nurtured through playful, hopeful, and care-full encounters, and crucially generative for “transitional concepts for unlearning, not better concepts for a utopia” (Berlant 2016).

Related themes Criticality, Research, Science

To question, break, and play with disciplinary boundaries to critically and creatively reframe and co-create the histories of  transdisciplinary knowledge and practice, for “science explicates; poetry implicates. Both celebrate what they describe” (Le Guin 2014).