Creativity, anti-humanism and the ‘new sociology of art’

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Abstract

This article reviews sociology’s uneasy engagement with creativity, using the lens of recent critiques of Bourdieusian art sociology and the call for a more nuanced understanding of the agency of art objects and trajectories of artistic production. I develop and apply an anti-humanist ontology to assert that creativity is profoundly sociologically interesting, and key to the production of human culture, from science and technology to the arts to social forms and institutions. Analysis of auto-ethnographic data on the production of a painting of Australian mallée woodland establishes three propositions for an anti-humanist sociology of creativity: that creative production is part of an open-ended flow of affect between assembled human and non-human elements; that affective flows produce creative capacities to act, feel and desire in bodies; and that products of creativity such as artworks are themselves affects that themselves contribute to the production of social life, the world and human history.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-536
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Sociology
Volume51
Issue number3
Early online date28 Aug 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes

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