The importance of ‘Empty Gestures’

Intentists believe that all meaning is the imperfect out working of intention. We describe the creative act as ‘external creative gestures.’ Moreover, we maintain ‘no creative input, no meaning input’. That is to say, if you don’t contribute creatively to something, you can’t assume you can contribute to the meaning.

The error many people make in engaging with this idea is how they interpret a creative contribution. A creative can decisively contribute to an artwork work with nothing. For example, in music there are numerous example where a pregnant pause is a standout feature. Buddy Rich uses it before the last chorus of his interpretation of ‘Love for Sale.’ Billy Taylor includes it between the initial verse and the first chorus of ‘I wish I knew how it would feel to be free.’ It is silent, but still an act of creation- intentionally employed to great effect. Such are empty gestures. And this is why they are important.

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