The White Stripes

I just watched the film about The White Stripes, although i thing it originally came out around 2008.


It’s an account of their tour of Canada around the 10th anniversary of the band. The filmakers follow them between venues across Canada. There are some clips of live performances, and some great clips of them performing in small towns and unusual venues (like the back of a boat). The most interesting bit though was a moment in one of the brief interviews when Jack White talks about creativity. He talks about how having unlimited options and a lack of boundaries is the enemy of creativity. So, he places his own boundaries and obstacles to force himself to create. For example, he puts the guitar plectrums and keyboard in awkward places on the stage, or limits the band to four days in the studio in which to make an album. This reminded me of some interviews with music engineers. In these we talked about creativity in the digital studio where options were endless. I didn’t take this anywhere at the time, but it is interesting to consider how developments in cultural production might remove barriers for creation whilst at the same time making creativity more difficult.

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