Why does art require commitment


In this context, art should be understood as a form of social behavior that is not art again and has its special scope of action (painting, sculpture, etc.), but as a quality of the behavior of the individual towards socially preformed roles. Of committed art - in our terminology of social creativity in the emancipatory sense could only be used if it is about creativity, the suppressed needs articulated, turns them into interpreted needs, so to speak, and which shows in concrete historical situations of a group that the integration theorem that a group has from the point of view, namely that the complementarity of expectations also corresponds to reciprocity of performance and factual satisfaction, is not correct. But more about that later. The ability to be productive and creative in the professional groups scientist, inventor, artist, art critic, journalist, copywriter, manager, graphic artist, therapist and teacher, which one in the psychological literature more often than creativity is not - so the thesis - simply a natural property, but is subject to specific psychosocial conditions in the sense of specific system properties of groups during their emergence and development.

creativity is therefore used in this work by a somewhat more demanding concept of social (= committed) creativity, because the practice of applying creativity techniques (brainstorming, synectics, etc.) led to systemic cunning and agility rather than to emancipatory processes.

The field of creativity research and practice is an area of ​​interdisciplinary collaboration par excellence. Sociology, psychology, philosophy and theology make contributions to this research area, as do anthropology, economics, linguistics, dramaturgy and the applied and visual arts. In the recent history of science, four essential starting points for creativity research can be established.


1. The American Army psychologywho, with their criticism and further development of conventional intelligence tests, with their questions about the structures of problem-solving processes in small groups (e.g. bomb crews), promoted research in this area;

2. The Research sociology and psychologywhich poses the question of more productive structures in the scientific process; closely related to that of the so-called

3.progressive education movement, triggered by the "Sputnik shock", asked the question "How can the creative potencies of the United States be increased?"

In the German-speaking area, the educational results of this movement can possibly become more effective because there is a direction in art education that partly represents related ideas.


And finally the starting point of creativity research, which is perhaps best with rehearsing the continuous

4.“Necessary” aesthetic innovation in the economic field can be arrested. The first creativity technique was, as you know, by Osborn, an advertising agency owner, developed and called “brainstorming”.

These four starting points of creativity research also indicate the essential socio-economic determinants of the utilization of creative products and processes. With the question of the current situation of creative systems, their specific constraints, their compromises from our ideal-typical creative role system briefly outlined in the following, the analysis of creativity planning and guidance training and exploitation systems is connected. Knowledge and techniques that could be used to increase creativity in all groups rely on a comprehensive science and art theory that answers the question of the right questions. Brainstorming and other creativity techniques could be used in families and companies and not only on the problem: Where do we go on Sunday? Or how can a product be improved? These techniques, which expand the group members' sense of possibility, could also address the question of possible social relationships and organizational forms of these relationships within the group, for example by asking training groups to first draw their situation individually and then together. As can be seen, artistic creativity increases creativity on social behavior even after the visual articulation of the situation.

It does not need to be emphasized that these pictures are more about committed than art, but I have chosen this example because the interaction of our three terms engagement, art and social creativity in the three-step engagement in the self-awareness group, visual articulation of the experienced group history and feedback on the continuation of the group history with regard to a possible free play of roles that one plays in the picture, is made possible by the articulation


The relationship between group and society with regard to a role-theoretical treatment is only to be hinted at. The hard core of many roles will be - and so far role theory is not just small group theory - defined by law. It is true that an enumeration of the social institutions (role systems) in which the creativity of the position holder can be promoted or suppressed is an enumeration of the social institutions in general, In the current historical situation, however, it can be said that creative social behavior and thinking are only assessed as positive and required of them in certain roles. Dreitzel describes in his classification scheme for social roles, for which a certain creativity is normatively required, as roles with gestalt norms. This means that artists, scientists and politicians tend to have a certain creative power for their role play. Furthermore, relationship roles require certain creative skills. However, since recent studies have shown that the learning of creativity then also has a high transfer value, in fact the tendency to transfer the creativity once practiced (e.g. in the area of ​​art education or in the sexual area - Ammon) to other areas, There are two problems: One possibility is that although people are creative (to a certain extent every person is) and thus can play their relationship roles well and satisfactorily, they do not have the opportunity for creative self-realization in other areas (work roles) .

The other likely possibility is that Creativity-impossible production conditions The area of ​​relationship roles is also structured and the reified and reified forms of communication in the professional world have an effect on friendship and family relationships. Is the production process standing - and he is in this position because of his class-specific socialization - not creative (as the production process sometimes suggests), so to speak purely executive, he has a tendency to structure his personal area in a similar way and / or to seek its fulfillment only in consumption. Habermas shows in detail how strong the relationship between work and leisure time is in his sociological notes Leisure behavior from work behavior is determined from here.

In connection with purely executing, non-planning activities, it seems to me that the interaction of “command” (e.g. at the workplace) and its effect on the language used by command recipients (lower layers) is related. Self-awareness as the goal and characteristic of groups and thus role systems would be one of the most essential elements of the self-image of people and groups who want to be creative. We call self-confident a system that is not exhausted with mere activity, but also observes itself and understands itself as an active and self-actualizing system. Role bearers add to the self-confidence of the group when they Communication and metacommunication developed, develop ideas about the role system and the group, as well as their relationships to other groups and convey these ideas to others. In this way you increase the information provided by the role system about its structure, processes and limits. The realization of this self-confidence of individuals and groups in history is essentially determined by the socio-economic structure - by the conditions of production that enable or disable creativity.

The formulation of the usual role concept (e.g. Dahrendorf) does not escape the danger of sociologism: it does not take into account three dimensions that are particularly central to a theory of creativity. It is a matter of those dimensions in which the relationship of the acting subject to his roles can be grasped. It is the neglected dimension of this Need repression, the I-spontaneity, the Self-reflection (role distance) and the sum of creative experiences that are creative I-identity helped constitute. These dimensions also describe the location of the phenomena of social creativity. As already mentioned at the beginning, the ability to articulate need repression is particularly close to “committed art”. Yes, both are, so to speak, practice fields for each other.

The neglected dimension of need repression in sociology and art theory is the core point of the emancipatory social creativity. The institutionally established complementarity of expectations and behavior usually does not correspond to reciprocity in satisfying needs. Man's domination over man is an everyday experience in the family, school and company. The equilibrium of an interaction is tied to the condition of reciprocity on the cognitive level of symbolic meaning (complementarity of expectations), but this does not mean that the conditions of reciprocity are given on the motivational level of the disposition of needs (reciprocity of satisfaction) . In almost all relationships, the opposite is the case, which is often quite secure (family law, school law, commercial law).

Roles are also institutionalized value orientations, and the absolute The degree of repression is measured by the extent to which the partners involved withhold mutual satisfaction. A sociologically relevant dimension of creative behavior that reduces domination is already opening up here.

TheAbility to articulate needs under the given manorial conditions, which are no longer necessary according to the state of the productive forces, on the one hand need an inventory of these forces and an exercise in the ability to articulate concretely felt domination and to design role systems free of domination. This social imagination can - as was clear from the example of the pictures of self-awareness groups - be helped by committed art, yes, there are only two sides of the same phenomenon.

The importance of self-actualization in art education can be considered a necessary, though not a sufficient condition for political creativity not be stressed enough. Which to a great extent of three further dimensions of social creativity to be specified (Spontaneity, self-reflection, self-identity) dependent emancipatory creativity requires the ability to show solidarity with other underprivileged people, it wants to make history and promote communication that is free of domination and that enables better identity.

Communication-therapeutic studies on the problem of the abolition of rule and the articulation of the Need repression in marriages showed that the ability to Metacommunicationso to talk about the relationship - requires a certain flexibility in the linguistic area. This means that the interaction partners must be able to switch from reflective to analytical language use and vice versa.


Interpretative social creativity.

The neglected dimension of the I-spontaneity can be found in role play as practicable - also committed - interpretive creativity. The assumption of the respective rulersthat in stable interactions on both sides a congruence between Role definition and Role interpretation exists, can according to various studies (Turner: role takings vs. role making, Goffmann: diffuse starting position - competing role projects work on each other - preliminary interpretation compromise - see also the group dynamic process) cannot be maintained. The Scope for a nasty intersubjectivity of understanding about common norms is necessary so that the acting subjects, by taking on a social role, can at the same time present themselves as irreplaceable individuals. Empirical, philosophical and psychoanalytical aspects speak in favor of keeping the level of role definition and role interpretation apart. A complete definition of the role that prejudices the congruent interpretation of all those involved can only be found in reified, namely to realize self-representation excluding relationships.

On the sociolinguistic level correspond to these attempts Role definition and interpretation put in one that various instruments of domination in terms of salutation, title, references and experiences, Factual authority, age of course, time, etc. Articulation of one's own feelings and associations in the here and now (spontaneity) needs an artisticsocial exercise room and the experience of playing with colors, sounds and behaviors. Promoting the transferability of experiences from both areas is, in my opinion, one of them Pursuit of exemplary learning most likely possible.

The ability to I spontaneity and role interpretation is called interpretative social creativity. Probably creative behavior is also the greatest threat at this level in the Structure of the command to behold. Here is also the starting point of those considerations which the Ask questions about the emergence of uncreative majorities. Those positions in the production process that are characterized by only executing and not also planning and self-determining activities are shaped to a large extent also that Family structure and thus later the Position in the production process. The circle of the reproduction of uncreative majorities is thus closed, as already indicated overleaf.



Reflective creativity

The neglected dimension of the Self-reflection as the creation of a role instance is also marked as a form of social creativity.

In sociology, the assumption was made that a stable, well-rehearsed interaction is based on a congruence between valid norms and effective behavioral controls: an institutionalized value orientation (role) corresponds to an internationalized value (motive) in such a way that valid norms with sufficient probability also are actually fulfilled. Is not considered in this conception that depending on the Degree of internalization of roles the acting subject can relate to a role itself. This aspect is important for a theory of creativity because research by Barron has shown that too strong a superego (and as Function of the superego, the conscience exercises behavioral controls depending on the structure of the superego acquired in the early socialization process) for a creative person.

One is tempted to describe the conventional role concept of sociology as the sociological image of a social world in which everyone in his role is a socially sanctioned neurotic, has, so to speak, found a social place for his compulsive acts. A theory of committed art would therefore be used to clarify the Relationship between subjectivity and social objectivations (language, religion, etc.) desirable. The specific form of behavior control internalized in the educational process determines the degree of possible role distance and thus the degree of reflective social creativity. Painting and drawing - for example, the initial one is left completely free, as in children's painting campaigns - can be one Be part of self-esteem and freedom from fear later in life. The main difficulty is also that the artistic confirmation is often only understood as "acting out". The socialization planning necessary for the development of creative behaviors, which cannot be accommodated in the conventional concept of educational planning because it means the planning of skills, attitudes and systems in all areas of society, is interested in the establishment of a "family" system, the one Upbringing guarantees that, in an understanding interpretation of the child's intentions, is oriented towards an anticipated individuation and the independence of the child - including creative deviation - are awarded. System properties of groups that enable social creativity: In summary it can be said that the psychological concept of social creativity should be supplemented and, in a certain sense, also laid as a foundation. The dimensions of the role play, which enable subjectivity and creativity, are important for this and have been briefly outlined.

An important characteristic of people and groups that enable committed creativity is that Ability to articulate need repression and thus also (domination) (emancipatory creativity) and to carry it out in an open conflict of roles. If this is not possible - or not yet possible, then an individual with a high tolerance for frustration can still be able to cope with the situation. Frustration tolerance enables the creative individual to hold out the outsider roles that are necessary in the pursuit of creativity, as well as to endure specific relationships of domination with a view to a "larger" goal.

As interpretative social creativity was the ability to role ambiguity through a to balance an appropriate relationship between role assumption and role creation (role design), designated. she is the one Prerequisite for self-expression in role play. The ability to perform relatively autonomous role play on the basis of the reflexive application (reflexive social creativity) of a flexible superego formation to cope with new situations was called reflective social creativity. On an individual level it is the three manifestations of social creativity, connected with ego strength (courage) and an ego identity that has to be determined even more closely At the group level, it is the system characteristics: low repression, low rigidity of the role definition and educational experiences, the one flexible superego formation and thus guarantee autonomous role play. The biographical dimension social creativity can be based on the concept of creative self-identity be moored. At Habermas, the ego identity is a name for the specific ability to resolve crises in the ego structure through restructuring.

TheDevelopment of the ego structures, the sociological Concept of "identity" can according to the scheme: ego growth through crisis resolution be understood - bursts of maturity trigger a series of crises in the relationship between person and environment and force a conflict resolution through reorganization of the ego structures at a higher level. Accumulations of social knowledge (in contrast to secret knowledge) in the expansion of human skills and creativity potential and manifested in the objectified wealth of increasingly perfect work tools and machineries, cannot be separated from the concept of capital. The question of the relationship between science and capital, the relationship between capitalist development and structure and development of the sciences is for both the Discovery context and its concrete constrictions as well as for the Significant application context of science.

Those considerations that led to the connection of the following train of thought about aesthetic creations in the commodity sector with those discussed here about creative systems are closely related to the central topic of this essay. Assuming the case that a person had been socialized according to the optimal creative conditions, then the At the time of their career choice, of course, to ask the question of the usability of their skills in the economic process. In addition to the career opportunities already mentioned in the scientific field, those professions in the applied arts are meant that deal with the Manufacture of beautiful goods deal. They meet the capitalist economy's need for aesthetic innovations in order to secure sales.

Like the analysis of the transformation of ego identity from those dimensions that we have identified as dimensions of social creativity. Goffman differentiates between personal identity (individuality) and social identity. The personal identity is expressed in an unmistakable biography (which can also be viewed as the creative product), the social identity the fact that one and the same person belongs to different, often contradicting reference groups (e.g. creative minority - profession). The essential structures of personal identity also arise in communication with nature needs to be mentioned here.

A socialization process that organizes the sequence of maturity crises as a cumulative creative learning process is beneficial for the development of a creative ego identity.


In a certain sense, our train of thought was about individuals socialized in creative systems and thus creative individuals who you Professional fate on the job market Experience the development of creativity under certain social conditions, imprecise, since our concept of creativity is essentially a political one, i.e. one that overcomes structures of rule. This also shows which types of creative systems (arts and crafts schools, academies, advertising agencies) are desirable and which are not. Insofar does not work the socially desired concept of creativityAs was shown by the example of true aesthetic creation, back to these role systems that socialize it. In addition to other more precise determinations of the reciprocal influencing of committed art and social creativity, the socialization area would have to be looked for as the concrete reasons for the development and narrowing of social, political and other forms of creativity in the direction that are conditioned by the basic structure of our economy.

TheHistory of Art Education on the other hand, those historical phases would have to work productively in which the creative forces in humans were understood as a central educational task. Both the era of the youth movement and the ideas of the Walddorf schools and the Montessori schools belong in this context.

Both are the unsuccessful attempt in Germany to shake the structure of the continental European education system of the 19th century, which was also considered a model in America until the First World War, and to question its concept of education.

The social one Fate of these creativity-oriented reform groups can only be instructive for a historical connection between the theory of creativity and the practice of creativity-enhancing education if we have the Reasons for their failure search where they were - and are, in the Creativity-impeding, externally determined production relationships, the uncreative majorities also essentially in the work process - the most formative socialization process - form.

The task of a socio-economically understood, engaged art and group dynamics interested in the emancipation from opaque structures of dependency could be in the To help self-analysis and self-organization of role and thus socialization systems, whose goal is increasing De-hierarchization their structure and the Practice in emancipatory creativity is.




Helmut Stockhammer



Under the title “Engaged art as social creativity” published in “Engagierte Kunst”, Ed. Wiener Secession, Vienna 1972, pp. 137-143