Tradition and Innovation in Creative Studio Practice: The Use of Older Gear, Processes and Ideas in Conjunction with Digital Technologies.

The necessity of using traditional tools and pre-existing knowledge is part and parcel of the process of being innovative. Rather than being diametrically opposed, tradition and innovation are complementary to each other. For Negus and Pickering ‘creativity doesn’t emerge out of a vacuum…creative talent requires a tradition so that it can learn how to go further within it or beyond it. Innovation should be understood by rejecting those approaches which set it squarely against tradition and established cultural practice’ (2004, p. 91). Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi supports this idea by asserting that ‘new is meaningful only in reference to the old. Original thought does not exist in a vacuum’ (1999, p. 315). He goes on to state that ‘without tradition there can be no novelty’ (ibid). One could then argue that a desire to use older technology for certain sorts of creative practice in the studio may not be fully explained solely in terms of technostalgia, sentimentality or a simple desire to return to a glorified past. It may be that older technologies and methods of working have an important place in informing innovative practice in the studio. This paper will present evidence to demonstrate that understanding the basis for [re]appropriating technologies and practices of a previous era informs current innovative studio practice.