Creativity is a wonderful thing. It gives us art, music, poetry, photography, gardening, and the list goes on. Creative people come in all shapes and sizes and in all temperaments. They can be rude, humble, obnoxious, or shy. They can be also be depressives who will go without shelter and food, simply to be able to express themselves creatively. It gives their lives meaning. I am not saying that all creative people suffer from depression. I am saying that a lot of the artists I know do have a dark side, and this is reflected in their work.
Does it help to have some level of depression to be creative? Does the function of creativity lead a person to depression, or to depressive thoughts? Are we, as humans, attracted to the chaos and drama that can come with social non-conformity? Is it the dark side of existence that we wander toward, to feed our creative minds?
It’s part of our wiring as humans to have good days and bad days, and how that looks can depend on external factors, such as, where we live, how we look and our status in society. Does the way we are raised provide us with different tools when dealing with depression? When we as a society get to the stage where we can change our DNA, eradicate things like depression, are we not only changing the chemistry of our brains, but also altering the parts of our mind where creativity resides?
What could be the function of depression as it exists with so many of us? Does it have a function or is it just a chemical imbalance, a mind fuck, if you will? And if, in the future, we can remove the genes that gives us these dark feelings, should we do it? Will it create a happier society? Is it moral to allow people in the future to be afflicted with depression if they don’t have to be? When our genes are changed, and people have a bad day, how will they react when sadness should be the resulting emotion? Will we be like the Eloi from H.G. Wells, “The Time Machine” (spoiler alert), devoid of emotion with a certain apathy, as they are in fact really just a food source?
In the future, when we can gene sequence humans to be whatever we need them to be, what will creativity look like? What is the future of creativity in a world without depression? And even scarier, will it be humans or AI that are the creatives?
I am writing this in a café, drinking a coffee. How long will it be before the first blog post written by an AI is posted? Will it be about what it is like to work and live with humans? Will it be funny? Sad? Will it feel like a threat to other bloggers? Will the AI truly appreciate all of the likes and comments?
In the future, will creativity be considered an emotional plus or an impediment? Will the darker side of creativity be considered an abnormal way of thinking and be judged as detrimental to society? I personally think that, as people, we would find Utopia boring and probably start killing each other, taking drugs or just staying drunk all of the time, even more than we already do.
Some of the greatest people I have met are often quite “off”, not what would be considered normal. They have an edge that makes them interesting and fun to be with. Some may call them crazy, but that is just personal interpretation. Different people have different normals; that is what makes interesting conversations and relationships.
So, what is the future of creativity? We shall know quite soon.