On Creating and Transforming Problems for ‘Optimizing’ Solutions in Software Culture
While it seems quite easy to find it plausible that people come up with clever ideas and solutions for certain problems, given that those problems are actually there, in front of the person who is dealing with the problem, it is quite hard to imagine the process of coming up with, finding, creating a new idea seemingly out of nothing. The problem becomes a mystery, when we shift the scenario from the handyman who repairs plug sockets with rubber rings to the alleged ‘genius’ who startles from sitting in the green, having a game changing idea; or, in between those extremes,, engineers finding out what to do next in their offices, far away from their workshops.
So, here is my research question: How are problems created? Furthermore: How to create the problem? How to transform it to a problem with solution? How to process then further into the performative construction of the concrete solution?
To do so, I will encounter scientific literature from different disciplines, not limited to humanities either, and look for the pop-cultural and everyday discourse of creativity and technology development. Since I do not want to just contribute to the investigation of this discourse, but to understand how those mysterious acts of technological creativity are done, I will do ethnographic fieldworks in the fields of hackathons, which are strongly emphasizing the role of creativity. Furthermore, I am looking for contrast cases, like other projects in creativity research, and cases of technological inventiveness in techno-science scenarios.
After all, creativity is an important issue; not only regarding its discursive role, but its actual genesis and process. The digital culture, in which this investigation of technological creativity and developments takes place, is not only a specific framework for its technological processings, but a habitat which keeps automatizing more and more trivial tasks, and proving more and more tasks to be trivial. Insofar creativity is on the rise, we cannot possibly know enough about it. Whether it could help to automate or enhance even creativity or it could just enable us to do better the things that are left for us to do, in any case, we have the chance and the priority to get known to the capacities we can have through the world we live in. Eventually, this might correspond with an already ongoing transformation, or 'hackathonization' of post-heroic, intuitive process-management and the independent belief in the value of just creating new things/needs/questions/ideas/etc.