Creative Criticality is about creativity based on maintaining a critical eye.
Popular culture and modern vernacular have developed a belief that being critical is inherently negative, but maintaining a critical attitude is more than that. If it were all negative, a critic could never offer a high grade on a work of art, yet even Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel frequently ranked films with two thumbs up. Instead, the critical eye is an analysis of both the merits and the faults in our culture. It is growing and evolving by learning from where we’ve been in literature, music, film, and art.
Creative Criticality also reflects on my experience in nuclear engineering. With respect to nuclear reactions, criticality is the steady state where the chain reaction is self-sustaining. Despite what Hollywood and science fiction says, a critical reactor is a happy reactor. Similarly, working to reach self-sustaining creativity is a personal goal.
Creative Criticality is represented by the Celtic Dara knot, which is typically associated with the root system of the oak tree. Many cultures and religions around the world consider oak trees to be sacred symbols of destiny, power, strength, wisdom, leadership, and endurance. The trees serve as a way to derive meaningful messages for everyday life, and the roots of the mighty oak are symbolic of inner strength and resource, both of which are required to be consistently creative.
Creative Criticality is the banner for all of my creative projects, including podcasts, essays, speculative fiction, and more.
Michael Falkner is a writer, podcaster, and photographer living in the Atlanta area. A Utah and Arkansas alum, a Navy submarine veteran, and an incurable science fiction geek, he has been writing, give or take, since he could hold a pencil.
From 2011 to 2018, he hosted The Weekly Podioplex, a movie and television news podcast on The Chronic Rift Network. Before then, he was a writer and producer for The Scapecast, the Parsec Award-winning podcast about Farscape. He has also contributed to various other podcast productions, most notably The RevCast on RevolutionSF, The Chronic Rift’s Roundtable, and The ESO Network. Michael is also a frequent panelist for the American Science Fiction Classics Track at Dragon Con, and is also one of the founding members of the Dragon Con Newbies group, which helps newcomers of the annual convention.
Michael has been published several times, including genre essays on RevolutionSF and ForceCast.net. He is also the author of the Timestamps Project, a series of reviews of the long-running Doctor Who television series.
The logos and banners used on Creative Criticality are courtesy of Denise Lhamon. Her excellent work, including her art and writing, can be found at Accessories Not Included and on her Instagram page.