Surf with me!

September 10, 2015

Surf with me will be a weekly collection of key research and references for the Innovators’ Program challenge of how we might teach art thinking?.

During the very first week of the program, we focused on whether there is such a thing as  ‘Art Thinking’, and if so what it could be. We believe that art thinking is a mindset, and includes the thought processes that an artist goes through before they make an artwork.

Through active research including interviews and observation we are trying to find out what this mindset indeed is.

We have found that there is not so much officially written about art thinking, nor is it an officially coined term, however here is a small collection of thinkers who we feel aligned to:


Cindy Foley, ‘Teaching art or teaching to think like an artist?’ Tedx Columbus, November 26 2014.


Luis Camnitzer, ‘Thinking About Art Thinking’, Supercommunity, e-flux journal 56th Venice Biennale, May 16 2015

Art thinking is much more than art: it is a meta-discipline that is there to help expand the limits of other forms of thinking. Though it’s something as autonomous as logic might be, and though it can be studied as an enclosed entity, its importance lies in what it does to the rest of the acquisition of knowledge.



“We depend on reasoning to help us find solutions and to make decisions. […] We rely on ready-made answers from elsewhere, trusting these more than our own. There is however, a vast array of information and creativity our mind makes available to us for reasoning, if we can access it.” 


Edward de Bono, ‘Lateral Thinking’: Creativity step by step’, February 24 2015

“Lateral thinking is concerned with changing concepts and perceptions; this are historically determined organisations (patterns) of experience. […]. Lateral thinking is pattern switching in an asymmetric patterning system.

Much of our thinking culture is directed towards the ‘processing’ part of thinking, We have developed excellent systems including mathematics, statistics, data processing, language and logic. But all these processing systems can work only on the words, symbols and relationships provided by perception. Its perception which reduces the complex world around us to these forms. It is perception that lateral thinking works to try to alter the established patterns.” 


We hope you enjoy surfing with us, we’ll keep you updated with more waves to ride!

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