However, even if I am aware of this bias, I feel like I am always going back to what I learned about the world, in a sense, without thinking about hacking things. And it happened a few days ago. Djeff introduced us in a working room. There are some coloring draws on a table and a short instruction I don’t even bother to read. We have 5 minutes and I start pimping the chickens that remind me of Zorro and Superman. The Z of Zorro makes me think about a 2 so I add a “Hive #” in front of it. I feel very audacious at this point.
The minutes pass and the drawings are done. Djeff starts his feedback: why did we color the papers? He brings the instructions that say we can do anything with them. Everything became clear, this was not an innocent exercise. I saw Hélène in my head explaining that yes, we sometimes must go beyond the uses we assign to objects. I almost felt ashamed about falling in this trap.
I had a discussion with Ryan, a fellow Hiver and poet. When I told you how I felt about the exercise, he answered that there is no problem about enjoying coloring in the lines, and that he likes it. But does he like it because he learned to color this way, or does this feeling come from himself? He does not find any satisfaction in doing a mess just because we need to question rules. It is obviously a good way to question the rules and push our limits but we will still face rules that we can’t break. For example, we can create an extraordinary machine but to build it, we need to constraint us in the uses of the tools. A hammer is made to tack, a saw cuts. And to describe this machine, we will still use words that have a specific meaning. And if we create a new language, we will still use words or letters, which will be transcripted on paper with a pen, or on a computer.
This discussion was full of meaning and made me put into perspective the freedom we have towards imagination and creation. In the end the functional fixedness we get into at around 7 years old is a lot more than the use we assign to tools. It’s also an anchorage in repositories to be able to live in society and to think. Can we really be free of this bias?