Event details

Civilisation: Creating new worlds - 2. The Great Tension: China, India and Playfulness - Friday series
Friday, 29 August 2014 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Program: Civilisation: Creating new worlds

Venue: Domain Theatre, Art Gallery of NSW

Lecturer: Dr Christopher Hartney

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With Indian and Chinese civilisations as our background, in this lecture we examine the great tensions in any society between tradition and the radically new. Unless carefully managed, new traditions are rejected and those who try to reform the world can be seen as simply mad. We shall mine fascinating examples from Confucian ideas of self and world transformation, to Daoist spontaneity and Indian ideas of playfulness, and unveil a range of age-old strategies for to turn radically new ideas into tradition.

Includes lecture entry, lecture notes (if available), coffee during intermissions & a glass of wine after the lecture

Series proudly sponsored by Arab Bank Australia

Image: Palaeolithic bulls and other animals crowd calcite walls at Lascaux_ (detail). Photograph by Sisse Brimberg, National Geographic. Getty Images.

read more about Civilisation: Creating new worlds

Civilisation: Creating new worlds

This compelling lecture series investigates the heart of the creativity. As civilisations throughout history have sought renewal and survival, the human capacity for creativity, innovation and problem-solving has remained the master key to recovery from crisis. The New in all its forms, however, can be a powerful shock to both sensibility and stability. It is often seen as a zone of deviancy, constantly threatening to bring disorder and chaos. In this multi-media series, renowned Gallery lecturer and academic Dr Christopher Hartney unveils what we know of the mechanisms of human creativity and how we can turn it to our advantage. He utilises his extensive knowledge of the civilisations of the past to retell the titanic battles between the constraint and unleashing of creativity. This series will explore how worldviews are renewed, and how and why art is vital to the process.

Civilisation: Creating new worlds is designed for those fascinated with the operations of the human mind, and how it makes art. It will appeal equally to lovers of world history and to those who delight in the creative workings of the human mind. The series will inspire creators and innovators who seek new insight into the vast range of ancient and modern practices of invention and renewal. Examples will range from the trance states of shamans and diviners, through to analytical creativity, the role of randomness, and how we solve problems. The study of civilisation meets the latest developments in the cognitive sciences in this enthralling story.