Creativity and Conceptual Art1
Margaret A. Boden
If one has a view about the nature of creativity in general, it should apply to all forms of art (and to science too, though that is not our concern here). In particular, ifone believes that there are several different types of creativity, one must say how these map onto various examples of art—whether these are general movements, specific art forms, or individual artworks. With respect to conceptual art, do all examples of this genre spring from the same type of creativity? And if so, what is it?
My own approach to creativity does distinguish different types, as I explain in sections 12.2 and 12.3. In section 12.4, I argue that the one which prima facie seems most appropriate is not apposite, in fact. Section 12.5 spells out the categorization I favour. Finally, in section 12.6, I relate this viewpoint to the evaluation of conceptual art.
A creative idea is one that is new, surprising, and valuable (Boden 2004). The term 'idea' is a shorthand, here. In art, the new idea sometimes is an 'idea' in the
1 This paper forms part of the research supported by AHRC Grant no. B/RG/AN8285/APN19307:
'Computational Intelligence, Creativity, and Cognition: A Multidisciplinary Investigation'.