SPARK explored the ways we feel inspiration. It followed the path from being inspired to inspiring others, from the first nanosecond of electric impulse that bursts in the brain – a.k.a., an “idea” – to the birth of a work in the outside world. All of us have inspiring moments. All of us have fantastic ideas. Some of them are meant to be private. Others may not be suitable for the real world but are so powerful that they find their way into our lives anyway. Still others are so spectacular that they never leave the realm of thought, because those who conceptualize them are unable to share their inner views.

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How does fantasy reach the “real” world? Is there a “real” world? Is there a connection between the physical and metaphysical worlds? Can the roots of this connection be found in “Inspiration” and “Imagination”? Does it start with a dream or does it come from hard work? How do things evolve? Do things have to be unique and individual in order to be born, or is the source of appearance to be found in combined willpower and cooperation? Who is a spectator and who is a creator? Are both the same and, if so, how do they interact? Is art and creation the visual proof of our transcendence? From thought to matter? Crazy questions, yes – maybe even childish ones in a world full of reason. But do we have to look into a mirror in order to see the world with different eyes? Can we see a Mirrorworld that leads us in the right direction? Many people have worked their way through the kingdoms of Inspiration and Imagination, but what is exceptionally interesting, as ESMoA showed, is when two “Dreamers” like Cornelia Funke and Mirada create a magical vision. SPARK provided a glimpse into their Mirrorworld. Some may think it’s a cool app. Some may think it’s the first true digital book. Others may think it shows the schoolbook of the future. And still others may find their own Mirrorworld in order to see what is beyond their current fantasy. What will you find?

Chaotic ingredients: A miracle water pond in an open space. Islands of Inspiration and Imagination reflecting the process of creativity. From the original thoughts of Mirrorworld to the virtual computer world. From artifacts, books, sketches, personalinspiration tools, business agendas/schedules, planning tools, crazy emails and presentations to ready-to-access iPad desks. SPARK drew you into a Mirrorworld whether you want to go or not. The experience depended on you and what you took out of it with you.

Paradox disposition: Many people consider art to be a luxury these days, one that belongs only to the Superrich. Even more seem to think that only adults can understand contemporary art, that it is meant for an elite class to which they do not or cannot hope to belong. As such, if something from their memory touches them deeply, they may reject the thought as stupid, long gone and irrelevant to our time. With every year we get further from this life of fantasy, where an old tin box could become a princess, or perhaps a football, before finally settling into a tower of a castle. At the same time, art education is being minimized in schools all over the world. Sometimes it seems as if literature (storytelling), fine art and the performing arts belong only in kindergarten, not in the curriculum of those serious types who are destined to become the very investment bankers that control the resources. Art is nice to have but not essential, the thinking goes. Meanwhile, we continue to dream up new solutions and new ways to communicate in a fragmented world. Ironically, those new inventions come from Inspiration and Imagination.

Start Exploration: SPARK showed that Mirrorworld was a path that transformed the paradox into a source of individual inspiration. A potential new way of thinking and creating that tells the story of art as a state of mind and, thus, an integral part of our lives. Today we tend to put reason over emotion – especially in the western world of enlightenment. We prefer to put logic before feeling and therefore misinterpret that our brains prefer to remember emotionally involving stories long term. If chaos is the nutrient solution for development, the paradox could easily work as its trigger for creative thinking. ESMoA invited everyone to experience the firework of extraordinary artwork by feeling its inspiring spark. SPARK told the childlike fairytale of Mirrorworld, but it could easily transform itself into a logically comprehensible high-tech product.

Los Angeles, 2014

Artists Cornelia Funke and Mirada Studios

Guest Artists Vincent Alpino, Damien Elwes, Amely Spoetzl and Akihiro Higushi Production Credits Mathew Cullen | David Fowler | Atli Örvarsson | Andrew Cochrane | Mark S. Brinn | Andrew Merkin | Andrin Mele-Shadwick | Javier Jiminez | Patrick Nugent | John Fragomeni | Jing Zheng | David Meng | Francisco Ruiz Velasco | Len Burge | Luke Belderes | Peggy Chung | Conor Hunter | Hugo Martin | Erika Lee | Jaekyung Jaguar Lee | Simon Lee | Michael Tello | Amy Wang | Jacklin Yoo | David Sweetman | Ken Boreham | Sarah Blank | Jason Dunn | Ben Hansford | Miwa Matreyek | Evan Viera | Mohsen Bizar | Craig Christian | Pete Coggeshall | Franco DeRosa | Brandon Thomas | Simon Webber | Jim Hawkins | Laurent Ben-Mimoun | Ken Pellegrino | Graham Herbster | Jeff Aquino | Alex Gomez | Giancarlo Rondani | Montana Casey | Fred Fouquet | Mike Merkwan | Lee Gardner | James Petix | Leighton Greer | Ryan Hitch | Tina Van Delden | Khalid Patterson | Daryn Wakasa | Joe Kim | Ryan Erke | Lauren Ebeling | Incendio | Clark Muller | Christina Caldwell | Shawn Kim | Ernesto Lomeli | Rob Newman | Teri Whittaker | Ben Leiser | Gabriel Blanco | Janet Wu | Hala Bahmet | David Fleming | Claudio Olachea | Monica Sonand | Erick Meany | Eleven Sound | Scott Burns | AJ Murillo | Carolina O’Sullivan | Joseph Aviel | Scott Lilly | Cory Roberts | Tereza Kacerova | Jaycie Dotin | Michael Coleman | Maximilian Bader | Tanner Gottlieb | Harwood Gordon | Lionel Wigram | Eduardo Garcia | Richard Causon | Maximilian Ackerman | Charlotte Ceugnie | Adeline Grimmett | Blake Nelson | Carlee Nelson | Sonai Saunders | Samantha Silvers | Lucas Renton | Isabelle White | Pamela Neal.

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