Big Ideas: When is it right to be wrong?

Wrong! at the Wellcome Collection

The realm of being wrong is a fascinating one and the Wellcome Collection has dived right in. Their evening event comprised a series of talks covering clowning, the fallibility of memory, human error, the psychology of magic and those poor fools who were utterly convinced world would end on 21 May. A really interesting evening, but it occurred to me that the concept of ‘being wrong’ can be applied to any art form.

If you work in a creative field you have to get over your fear of being wrong – whether it’s realising an idea wasn’t quite as good as you thought, or presenting your work to an audience for the first time. I think great artists are fearless enough to take a leap into the unknown, but also self-critical and astute enough to be able to tell the good from the bad, or the right path from the wrong. Sometimes a mistake provides unexpectedly amazing or interesting results – that’s half the fun.

Applying ‘wrong’ literally, you could subvert a system or audience expectations. In a more abstract sense, it raises questions around shame, taboo, morality, religion, crime etc – the list goes on.

So try doing things WRONG. Nothing like a positive start to a new project…

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