Visualizing Creativity: an analysis of the relationship between creativity and visualization through an overview of theories of creativity visualization technologies

Li, Richard
Walker, Charles
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Master of Creative Technologies
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Auckland University of Technology

The broad purpose of this thesis is to present an interdisciplinary analysis of the relationship between creativity and visualization. More specifically, the research engages with artistic, cultural, technical and scientific modes of recognizing and evaluating creativity. The thesis explores the potential for new visualization technologies to represent, communicate or interactively engage with theories of creativity in order to extend our understanding of creativity and its application across differing domains. The research has been developed from two parallel but previously under-related discourses. The first informs a discussion of general problems in the study of creativity across different domains, while the second focuses more on studies of artistic creativity using computer technologies.

The thesis gives an overview of various creative theories and the neuroscience approach to creativity. It demonstrates that most studies on creativity focus on the process of creativity and measuring creativity. The process of creativity includes where the creative thought is produced which involves consideration of individual, social and environmental factors. The measurement of creativity focuses on evaluating the individual ability of creativity. The subject of much study on creativity is human and other elements related to the human ability of creativity. Analyses of artistic creativity engaging with computer technologies in the form of case studies raise questions on how to understand the “machine’s creativity” and what is the role of the “machine as creator” in the study of creativity. This investigation of art practice engaging with technology indicates a contribution of the "machine as creator” to a new knowledge of creativity.

The above analysis of the various definitions, theories and concepts of creativity and visualization indicates that there is a gap in a creative technology-based approach to creativity. The subsequent investigation of visualization technology indicates that the technology itself plays a key role in transforming or interpreting data into visual media for scientific findings.

The result of the study also indicates some future directions for research in this emerging interdisciplinary field.

Creativity , Visualization , Visualizing technology
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