Here’s why coincidence works for us
Okay, it’s an unexpected coming-together of things or moments. So what? Why does anyone care, and why’s it worth thinking about or laughing at? The fact is that humans are intrigued by the unlikely, and maybe there’s the hint of some magic at work. The appeal of coincidence, from the mild to the extreme, lies in the fact that there’s a connection being made between things that don’t seem to have much to do with each other. Philosopher and writer Arthur Koestler, who wrote arguably the only deep investigation into creativity, invented a word for this: ‘bisociation’. Maybe it’s not worth a new word, but the point is that we appreciate coincidence best when we think that two unrelated things are meeting. In the very first picture we looked at (page 82), there are two things in play. One is the reality of street stuff: a mural and a motorbike. Apart from the fact that one is parked in front of the other, they have no connection. But there’s a second frame of reference – the graphics – and by manipulating them to bring eyes and wing mirrors together, the cross-connection is forged. it’s also, by the way, the foundation of most jokes… but that’s another story.