Knowing with New Media


Jester, Sage and Artist

According to Koestler, the collisions of incompatibilities may result
in either laughter, a new intellectual synthesis or unusual aesthetic experience (1989, p. 45).

This depends on who has triggered the clash, and for what reasons. Borrowing from Koestler, three forces may be at play in orchestrating
the incompatibility of collisions. Koestler suggests to look at them as personalised entities: the Jester, the Sage and the Artist.

The Jester acts upon their critical/satirical approach exercising wit, creating riddles, debunking established concepts, using impersonations, and looking for coincidences and surprises. Like a court jester, they are privileged to produce the most preposterous outcomes. The response
to a Jester’s results can be expressed with a ‘Ha-ha’.

The Sage learns by careful observation from natural/socio-cultural environments. The Sage analyses collected data, and produces categorisations and schematisations. They set themselves on discovery quests, work with puzzle-solving algorithms, and examine the issue
at hand by applying critical/analytical thinking, striving for logic and coherence. The response to a Sage’s work is expressed with an ‘Ah-ha!’.

The Artist’s practices are built on intuition, empathy, and imagination. Applying aesthetical criticality, the Artist seeks elegance in forms and solutions. Their outcome’s response is an ‘Aahh’.

This triad helps students to be resourceful in choosing and evaluating components from disparate dimensions to trigger the 'collisions of codes'. In gauging creativity, which is found to be the most challenging endeavour, this triad can serve as an accessible yardstick to qualify creative development through feedback loops.

The collisions should lead to a result that is new, surprising, elegant, coherent and valuable. Monitoring the quality of the creative production
is assisted by observing the presence and vigour of responsive interjections: ‘Ha-ha’, ‘Ah-ha!’ and ‘Aahh’.

Ripples of the Ripplework

Ha-ha Ah-ha! Aahh


The triad of the Sage, Artist and Jester
is considered as one circularity.

Taking one perspective implies that two others come in a close interplay.

No matter how rational, surprising or elegant the solution, it is the demonstration of three of these factors, at least to some degree,
that qualifies as creative.

Arthur Koestler


Carolyn Edwards &
Lella Gandini







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