Celebrating the Imagination (Part 2)

Issue 50 May 2019

Lost Knowledge of the Imagination

Gary Lachman is the author of twenty-two books on topics ranging from the evolution of consciousness to literary suicides, popular culture and the history of the occult. A founding member of the rock band Blondie, in 2006 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He retired from music to take up BA in philosophy. He now writes for several journals in the UK, US, and Europe, lectures widely and his books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Drawing on the work of Owen Barfield, Goethe, Henry Corbin, Kathleen Raine, and others, and ranging from the teachings of ancient mystics to the latest developments in neuroscience, his book ‘Lost Knowledge of the Imagination’ draws us back to a philosophy and tradition that restores imagination to its rightful place, essential to our knowing reality to the full, and to our very humanity itself.

The Alchemy of Oblique Topography

Ryota Matsumoto is a principal and founder of an award-winning interdisciplinary design office, Ryota Matsumoto Studio. He is an artist, designer and urban planner. His artwork reflects the morphological transformations of our ever-evolving urban and ecological milieus, which could be attributed to a multitude of spatio-temporal phenomena influenced by social, economic, and cultural factors.

Creativity, Imagination and ‘Finding Your Element’

Sir Ken Robinson is an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources in education and business. His inspiring TED talks have been viewed more than 25 million times and seen by an estimated 250 million people in over 150 countries. In an exclusive interview for the Interalia Magazine he discusses subjects such as the transformative role of creativity and imagination in education and how we can all ‘Find Our Element’.

The Mythic Imagination: From Ancient Troy to the Present Day

Lindsay Clarke’s working life has been devoted to his two principal passions, writing and education. In both contexts he has tried to put the power of the creative imagination – in both its inventive and compassionate aspects – into the service of the radical evolution of consciousness, which he believes is seeking to happen in these transitional times. His first novel ‘Sunday Whiteman’ was shortlisted for the David Higham First Novel Award; his second ‘The Chymical Wedding’ was awarded the Whitbread Prize for Fiction in 1989; and his novel ‘The Water Theatre’ was longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin International Literary Award. ‘Green Man Dreaming’, a collection of Lindsay’s essays, talks, poems and occasional pieces, was published in 2018,

On Philosophy and the Imagination

Nicholas Wiltsher is a philosopher, working on imagination, philosophy of mind, aesthetics, phenomenology, and feminist philosophy. He is currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellow in the Centre for Philosophical Psychology at the University of Antwerp. In this exclusive interview he discusses his ideas on the relationship between philosophy and the imagination.

The Purkinje Pattern

Dana Simmons is a neuroscientist, science-artist, and medical writer in Chicago. While at the university, Dana transformed Purkinje neurons into art by testing the limits of confocal microscopy and adding an artistic touch. She is endlessly fascinated by the beauty in the brain and the patterns that are ever-present throughout microscopic and macroscopic nature. In 2016 she received the Passion in Science: Arts & Creativity award from the New England Biolabs.

Creativity, Imagination and Philosophy

Dustin Stokes is a philosopher at the University of Utah, having previously researched and taught at the Universities of Sussex and Toronto, in both philosophy and cognitive science. His research includes work on perception, imagination, and creative thought and behaviour. In this exclusive interview he discusses his ideas on creativity, imagination and philosophy.

Cassini’s Dreams

Sounds of the cosmos have only been explored to a limited degree yet Saturn’s rings have not been deeply explored for its sound. From Cassini’s research, artist China Blue and her team translated the raw data from the dust and ice particles combined with an artistic interpretation of what would be heard from Cassini’s viewpoint as it traveled through and around Saturn’s rings, to create the bases of her exhibition at the Venice Biennale 2019.

Opera

James Harpur has had six poetry collections published by Carcanet and Anvil Press, including his latest, The White Silhouette (2018), an Irish Times Book of the Year. Angels and Harvesters (2012), was a PBS Recommendation and shortlisted for the 2013 Irish Times Award. In his poem, Opera, he celebrates the imagination – “an impromptu school trip back in the day which was as much as an opera as the actual opera we went to see”.

Imagination in Education

“At this time, the world we live in is in great need of a balance between our heads and our hearts, so that we may connect to the ‘tap-root’ in us all by opening us to the realm of imagination, inspiration and integration.”

Sacha, Duchess of Abercorn OBE was an innovator in creative education and the founder of The Pushkin Trust, an organisation that supports creative learning and education across Ireland, works to provide and support a holistic model to spark imagination and deepen awareness of our collective creativity, our humanity and ‘the child’ within each one of us.

Sadly, Sacha died on 10 December 2018 and this interview, first published in the launch issue of Interalia Magazine, is re-published here as a tribute to her creativity, compassion and imagination.

We talk about artistic inspiration all the time – but scientific inspiration is a thing too

Tom McLeish is Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Department of Physics at the University of York specialising in soft matter, rheology and biological physics. He maintains a broad interdisciplinary research interests, and is a co-investigator in projects on medieval science, philosophy of emergence, social framing of science and technology, and theology of science. His book on the cultural position of science, “Faith and Wisdom in Science”, was published by OUP in 2014.

How imagination can help people overcome fear and anxiety

Valerie van Mulukom is an Experimental Psychologist & Cognitive Neuroscientist, Coventry University. Her primary interests are in the cognitive underpinnings of imagination and the psychology of belief, which she examines using methods from experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Her research takes place in the overlap between imagination, memory, creativity, and beliefs.

Teleological behaviourism or what it means to imagine a lion

Howard Rachlin is an American psychologist and the founder of teleological behaviorism. He is Emeritus Research Professor of Psychology at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. His current research focuses on patterns of choice over time and how those patterns affect self-control (on which he worked with George Ainslie), including cooperation over time. His most recent book is The Escape of the Mind (2014).