Bjarne Funch to Lead Symposium on Artistic Creativity

On Friday, April 15Bjarne Sode Funch, 2015-2016 Templeton Fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS), leads a Templeton Symposium on “Artistic Creativity: An Existential-Phenomenological Study.”

In his project, which is the focus of this Templeton Symposium, Dr. Bjarne Funch’s objective is to develop a psychological theory based on phenomenological studies and existential philosophy. His theory will be based on phenomenological analyses of autobiographical works, interviews, and personal documents by renowned artists such as Margue-rite Duras, Agnes Martin, Einojuhani Rautavaara, and other artists. The theoretical component of the project was inspired by existential theorists such as Søren Kierkegaard and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. The focus will be on sensation and emotion in an attempt to demonstrate art’s importance for existential integrity and mental well-being. Three principal queries will frame his project and this symposium:
1. How do artists create works of art, especially as described from a first-person perspective?
2. What is the importance of pure experience with respect to artistic creativity?
3. What should be expected of an existential-phenomenological theory of artistic creativity?

This symposium is sponsored by the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, with generous funding from the John Templeton Foundation.

Friday, April 15, 2016
•9:30 am — Welcome
Brad S. Gregory, Director Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study
Bjarne Sode Funch, Associate Professor in Psychological Aesthetics at Roskilde University, Denmark
•10:00 am — Phenomenological Accounts of Artistic Creativity
This session will focus on identifying the dimensions of artistic creativity from a first-person perspective and to discuss their importance for understanding the creative act.
Denise Newman, Poet and Senior Adjunct Professor in Creative Writing at California College of the Arts:
“On Creating Poetry”
Kui Dong, Composer and Professor in Music at Dartmouth College:
“On Creating Music”
Richard Tuttle, Visual Artist:
“On Creating Visual Art”
•2:00 pm — Pure Experience and Artistic Creativity
This session will focus on the importance of pure experience with respect to artistic creativity and to pin down the most essential aspects of this experience, also called transcendent experience, mystical experience, oceanic experience, flow experience and more.
Bjarne Sode Funch:
Kirk Schneider, Existential Psychologist and Psychotherapist:
“Pure Experience and the Existential Psychological Approach to Artistic Creativity”
•4:30 pm — An Existential-Phenomenological Theory of Artistic Creativity
This session will focus on identifying the features of human existence that are responsible for the creation of works of art.
Bjarne Sode Funch:
“Human Existence and Artistic Creativity”
Conversation and Conclusion

Ndias Snite 05 3


Originally published by Grant Osborn ’06, ’09M.F.A. at on April 11, 2016.