Creativity has no borders. It connects, expands and is enriched through infinite new discoveries. It never stops exploring. It penetrates all levels of our conscious and unconscious. It feeds us, stimulates, dissolves and composes. It helps us discover ourselves, our beauty, our emptiness, our core, the keys to our efflorescence and our mission. Some merely coexist with art, while others wilfully challenge the borders of its universe. The latter include our guest of
the day. Peter Ciuha is a man who connects worlds, of life, art, music and new media. His current field of creativity is interactive. He unpretentiously aims to enable people better access to music and other creative endeavours. He seeks new methods for manifesting a creative spirit. For beginners and for those used to free-diving into the depths of creativity. This is his story.
INTERVIEW WITH PETER CIUHA
VB: Who is Peter Ciuha?
PC: Academically trained artist, specia
list in graphic art, MA of fine arts, a lecturer of drawing and painting at the Academy of Design. Essentially a creator and seeker of the limits of possible in art. A dreamer exploring the borders of his activities in all areas. In my work, I’m exploring the limits of art; in my teaching, the limits of pedagogy and didactics; while sitting at the piano or at the computer, I’m exploring creation of music. I am endlessly seeking windows to a new world, which cannot be seen without a special attitude towards art.
Peter Ciuha playing piano in The Womb (Source: Peter Ciuha)
Peter Ciuha continues studies of Video and New Media at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana in the field of visualisation of music. The computer part of the project is being developed at the Faculty of Computer and Information Science; the author of the software is Bojan Klemenc, computer engineer. He is the author and co-author of fine art textbooks for 7th, 8th and 9th grade of primary school, published by Založba Mladinska knjiga publishing house. He is currently preparing guidelines for teachers. Father of 14-year-old son Jakob, future archaeologist. More.
VB: How do you perceive borders?
PC: A border is the point where things get interesting. The centre is dead, distanced from the action. Borders are exciting. Even within oneself. You can stay where you’ve always been or you can seek new challenges within you, crossing the borders of the habitual.
VB: Where and how can we discover and surpass such borders?
PC: All the senses lead to the brain. Among different languages; I believe all these worlds can be connected (specifically: sight, hearing and motion – I haven’t visited the others yet). Among the two opposite states: the state of creativity and the state of the mundane.
The unknown has another dimension. In older versions of our religion, the name for God was a word meaning “the unknown” and it was only the modern society that shaped God in its image.
VB: How do these states influence you?
PC: For example; the mundane is what is performed routinely and attached to the centre where rarely anything happens. We often find ourselves in this state because we take things for granted, ignoring what we actually hear or see and acting mechanically, automatically. Thus we close ourselves to experiencing life and live in a false reality of our preconceptions and imagination.
VB: And in the creative state?
PC: In the creative state we eliminate censorship. We observe, listen and feel the entirety of the moment, the world around us and ourselves. We could call this the state of highest openness and awareness. In such a state we are prepared for the dialogue with the unknown, and especially with what is not entirely made of thought. Therefore I see creativity as
exploration of something not determined in advance.
VB: How is this implemented in practice?
PC: I will try to explain on the example of my model. In it, art consists of five mutually complementing worlds. The first is driven by motion and chance. There are no expectations, no preferences, no choice of one above the other and the results is insignificant. This is a state of acceptance of everything unknown. The second world starts with the creation of the first symbols which serve as tools for understanding.
Through time, these tools become self-serving. The image becomes more important than the world. This creates standard schemes in the language of art. If you want to proceed, you must implement attention in your activities. Which leads us to the third world: In the third world, you focus yourself on the journey into the unknown, into abstraction. This is where it gets interesting. The whole is no long clearly defined; it depends on the connections between constituent parts and their mutual relationships. Painting needed a long time to free the line, the colour and the light of the linear and of meaning and to free the person who has had this ability since birth.
VB: Do we then need to study if the aim is to be creative?
PC: Creativity does not require study. However, some people require studies to eliminate obstacles.
According to an existing theory, the human brain is functionally divided into the left and the right hemisphere. This theory supposes that a half of the brain is dedicated to cognitive activity (symbolic: calculation, language), while the other half is dedicated to recognition of relationships between parts and the whole.
VB: The first three worlds make the drawing seem as a form of intuitive experience?
PC: True. In this state, drawing is often related to intuition. Intuition is the ability to accept inner sensations and beliefs about the world and yourself for which you have no cognitive foundation. To accept the unknown and the logically unexplained. If we managed to trust our intuition, the world would be a different place. This would enable us to discover our true essence and not waste life for something that is not innate.
Peter Ciuha's drawing Katarina (Source: Peter Ciuha)
VB: Do you see that in your drawings?
PC: I know that I can realise everything I draw and I have noticed this with many scientists as well (e.g. Noordungu). A drawing is my second birth.
VB: Where do the fourth and fifth worlds lead us?
PC: The essence of the fourth world is observation of nature. This is basically a technical matter of trying to experience and draw what you see. You surpass the images of the symbolic worlds within you. By observation and sensing of the outside world as it is, we expand the borders of the inner world. Such enhancement of perception of nature also enhances the perception of human relationships. Your subjective view can develop into a more objective one. This opens passage to the fifth world. This is the world of expression and art which are the opposites of the natural world. This is the stage of synthesis. Here you combine the previous four worlds into something new. The fifth stage is where teaching ends and where independent exploration begins. At this stage you
free yourself of fear regarding your creations. It is my belief that the greatest sin of any society is repressing creativity. The universe will defy such a society and create conditions for its dissolution and crumbling.
The Womb (Source: Peter Ciuha)
MULTIMEDIA INSTALLATION “MATERNICA/THE WOMB”The Womb is a fine arts environment. It expands the limits of experiencing graphical art and printing. An ingenious technical solution enables the viewer to enter a live image, shaped as a shell, where they are enwrapped in the rhythm of their own archaic memory. With the donation of The Womb to the Draga Training, Occupation and Care Centre, exploration of its therapeutic possibilities as an educational environment began within the framework of an innovation project of the National Education Institute. It can be used in high-stress work, medical, educational and school environments as a tool for relaxation, creative inspiration, dealing with fear, addiction and aggression, thus enabling improved human interaction, and higher quality of work and living.
VB: What is the situation in Slovenia?
PC: Slovenians have to free ourselves of our phantoms and admit that creativity needs support from the society at all levels, ages and in all areas. Then, there will be no lack of innovation.
VB: Do you have any messages for the business world?
PC: The creative man asks himself “Why?” thus not accepting the existing and constantly experimenting and playing with everything. This is not always necessary on the material level. A solution can offer itself through dreams or other activities. Such insight is not a consequence of logic; it is mainly an experience of the right cerebral hemisphere. Life is much more interesting if you limit the use of cognition and replace it with intuition.
Violeta Bulc and Peter Ciuha (Source: Vibacom)
VB: What can art offer to the business world?
PC: The artist creates from nothing and makes something that did not exist before, something new. This we know how to do, and can teach others.
VB: What is your opinion of managers?
PC: The meaning of the modern word manager originates from the French word manège for handling horses. This role is essential for the operation of any company. Even I have to have a manager or manage myself if I want to make a living with my work and art. How does the manager motivate his or her co-workers and himself or herself to give their maximum and exceed own capability? This is where there is a lot of creative potential. To start with, they should abandon the model of copying and apply a creative model.
VB: Thank you, Peter.
PC: Thank you for precious and creative moments.
Connecting worlds of the present constantly offers itself as an overlooked dimension through which our own worlds can be expanded and success and happiness achieved. Merely by strolling through this interview you were touched by something new that has changed your world. It has made it wider, brighter and bolder.
Take care, Violeta
p.s.: The interview with Peter Ciuha was conducted over two days and is a part of a wider model of discovery of the depth of Slovenian creativity and innovative thinking, implemented through cooperation between the Vibacom Team and the Managers' Association. An extended version of the interview, substantiated with several concrete examples and a comprehensive description of the five worlds will be published in the next issue of the MQ magazine.