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MANIFESTO: On Emptiness

MANIFESTO: On Emptiness

“Let the void be manifest”

A cliff. A precipice. The dark of night. A blank page. An empty lot. Emptiness is scary. It paralyzes, transfixes, petrifies.

Still: the absence of emptiness paralyzes just as much. Fullness, overflow and, above all, the thirst to fill everything, are pests of modern societies. These epidemics flatten silences, blacken ad boards, fill TV screens between two Messi goals, bulldoze their way across landscapes, filling the wetlands essential to rare birds species in order to build big-box stores, commuter train stations and, God forbid, bike paths.

We must resist this trend. We must refuse to fill empty spaces in the city, in conversations and in our hearts. Emptiness is a force. Filling it is killing the force.

Of all forces stimulating creativity, emptiness is undoubtedly the most powerful, because it is rooted in urgency. Necessity, after all, is the mother of invention. It’s about survival.

Emptiness generates ideas. One must thus:

  • not fear it
  • accept it
  • seek it actively, whatever its form
  • shut up frequently and resist the temptation of making sense of everything
  • promote the importance of emptiness in giving value to matter, be it physical, intellectual, philosophical or metaphysical

This is a manifesto. In progress.


In the context of the Summer School on Management of Creativity in an Innovation Society Montréal-Barcelona, 1-16 July 2011

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