— Cultural Sources of Newness

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April 2012 Monthly archive

The past ten days have been spent in almost constant motion. One way of characterizing them is as working across boundaries, disciplinary and geographical. At a Kolleg seminar in Konstanz (D), at a conference in Liège (B), and at meetings in Nantes (F). Each opportunity in different cultural settings to share my research questions and findings about artistic interventions in organizations is also an opportunity to learn from others, be it through their questions or their stories.

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Wenn ein sonntäglicher Kinobesuch in “Arbeit” ausartet: Der Dokumentarfilm „Work hard, play hard“ macht Arbeit nicht nur zum Thema, sondern weist auch Schnittstellen zu Kulturellen Quellen von Neuheit auf, die mir zu denken geben. Auch hier geht es um kreative Räumen und Köpfe und die Pflege von Innovationskulturen. Ein Film über die “postindustriellen Werkstätten der Wissens- und Dienstleistungsarbeit.”

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Imagine my delight when I learned from Fred Girod this week that this year’s theme at the Institute for Advanced Study Konstanz (Kulturwissenschaftliches Kolleg) is “Nichtwissen”! I have been addressing issues of “not-knowing” and “unknowing” in my research on organizational learning and artistic interventions in organizations, as well as in my teaching of cross-cultural management for several years, but this is the first time I have encountered a community of scholars interested in the topic. This is one of the kind of discoveries and stimuli for new learning that a Kolleg is meant to enable. 

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My first Sunday in Konstanz as a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study Konstanz started with the discovery of a “controversial new idea” presented by public artist from the UK, Andrew Shoben, on a BBC Radio 4 program “Change of Art”. Schoben is concerned that art works created in the past decades appear to have little or no meaning to the public in whose midst they are placed. He is looking into “decommissioning” art that was created in response to a commission by a government body (e.g., local authority) by rotating or retiring the art work. The BBC site led me to the blog of a PhD student in the UK who is conducting interesting research on public art.

Lenk's Imperia with pope and king, Konstanz harbour

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