What is the source of a creative idea? Where does it start and how is it realised? These two questions from the basis of  Doug Aitken's new work The Source, which opens this week in Liverpool’s Albert Dock.

Aitken has asked a number of creative people of all ages and backgrounds, working across different art forms to consider these questions, including David Adjaye, Devendra Banhart, Beck, Thomas Demand, Liz Diller, William Eggleston, Jacques Herzog, Mike Kelley, Lucky Dragons, Jack Pierson, Stephen Shore, Tilda Swinton and Jack White.

Aitken says:

This project is about the roots of creativity. Many of the people in this project are working in very diverse mediums and it’s that common thread that I’m interested in. The project is very much about the empowerment of the viewer. I want the installation at Tate Liverpool to be a destination: a place that one can go to and walk into this field of ideas. 

So inspired by this,  this week we ask: what is the source of your creative ideas?

To spark you off,  you can see a little of what some of the participants discussed with Aitken in this video, and you can see Sky Arts Ignition: Doug Aitken – The Source as a part of the 2012 Liverpool Biennial at the Albert Dock in Liverpool from 15 September 

Comments are open. Login or register for a Tate commenting account using the links below and join the discussion.

Tate Debate sponsored by Vodafone


It's really hard to pin the source of my idea's down to one 'thing'. I don't believe in the 'light-bulb' moment often associated with creatives, for me it's a case of being aware of my interests and narrowing these down to a point which I want to portray visually. Broadly speaking I am interested in how people interact with their surroundings and each other. There's no way I can put this very broad interest in one art work, so I find examples which I find particularly interesting, for example how people react to one specific space, or creating a space and observing how people react within it. In short I think the source of my creative thinking is simply having an interest in what's going on around me.

My problem - if one should speak of a problem in this case... - is that I live with the meta-artist Marianne Schuit. The creativity underlying her meta-art comes from way beyond the usual creativity leading to normal art. Speaking of the latter, while being aware of the fact that there is something like the meta-creativity of Marianne Schuit, is like still speaking of planes as if there were not yet rockets.

I told the Tate Modern, at several occasions, that this extraordinary creativity is alive and kicking in Amsterdam. But as long as Tate Modern refuses to seriously get into this, it will not be aware of the unique and most profound shift of awareness that has taken place in the arts. Which is like still thinking that the earth is flat, while somewhere, someone, has already seen that it is round.

Exaggerated? See for yourself at www.delaatstestap.nl.

Hope this isn't to offensive according to the Community Rules.

But believe me, whoever is reading this, there is something happening in the state of Holland and it is about the very essentials of art and creativity and it will not go away.

A last piece of advise: take your time; it will ever so slowly reveal its hidden treasures to you. Fasten your seat belts!