— Cultural Sources of Newness

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Tag "conexiones improbables"

Dr. Cho Hyunjae, the 1st Vice Minister for Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Korea, welcomed the participants to the ARCOM conference at the Olympus Hall in Seoul on November 20 2013 with strong messages: “Art can make business dance and stimulate innovation.” “Organizations need creative kicks” because “corporations need to learn to stimulate the emotions of employees,” so “Korea is seeking ways to bring down barriers between art and business.” (quotations via translation by an  interpreter at the conference)

The ministry had contacted Professor Jeon Suhwan in 2011 to create ARCOM at the Korea National University of Arts to develop activities that would help the world of organizations and the world of the arts learn how to work together in new ways. For Professor Jeon, the experience with ARCOM has shown that, when given the opportunity, “many CEOs are interested in adopting art in their corporate environment” and their projects illustrate how “Korean companies are changing with the arts.” He believes that collaborations between arts and business can enable Korea to become a “creative economy.” And that the time has come for learning together globally.

Prof. Jeon presents ARCOM at Seoul conference

Prof. Jeon presents ARCOM at Seoul conference

Professor Jeon designed this conference to advance ARCOM’s objectives in two ways. Although there have been numerous artistic intervention projects in Korea these past few years, there has not yet been much research on the subject here, so he wanted this conference to present research from Europe, as well as additional cases from Asia.

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It started with an email in May 2013 that looked like spam, with Asian symbols I did not recognize. Something prompted me to open it and to my surprise, it was from a South Korean researcher who had discovered my studies on artistic interventions and wanted to come to Berlin to interview me.  She explained that she was a researcher from ARCOM (Arts and Company), a non-profit agency at the Korea National University of Arts, that was dedicated to artistic interventions in organizations, with support from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. It was great to learn from this email that the reports I had written on the European Creative Clash project (2013) and the earlier TILLT Europe project (2009) were being read around the world, as well as the article I had published about intermediaries in the online journal Organizational Aesthetics based on the Creative Clash report (2011) .

Six weeks later, Soyoung Shin was in Berlin, after having visited my partners in the Creative Clash project, TILLT in Sweden  and before travelling onwards to conexiones improbables in Spain, and ending her trip in London to meet Giovanni Schiuma. Never have I been interviewed by someone who had read my work so thoroughly! After hours of talking at the WZB, I invited her and her photographer to join me with David and Emma Vidal, an artist visiting from Paris, for a picnic in the park of Schloss Charlottenburg, so that she could continue her questioning. She mentioned that ARCOM was hoping to organize an international conference later this year, would I be able to come?

Soyoung Shin from ARCOM joins us for picnic at Schloss Charlottenburg July 2013

Soyoung Shin from ARCOM joins us for picnic at Schloss Charlottenburg in Berlin, July 2013

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Last week a wonderful colleague from Audencia Nantes School of Management, Gervaise Debucquet, was a Visiting Fellow at our research unit. We worked together on our paper entitled “Artistic interventions in organizations as intercultural relational spaces for identity development, which we will present in July at the 2013 EGOS conference in Montreal.

The paper is based on masses of data I have been collecting from artists, managers, and employees who have responded to my Web-based questionnaire about their expectations from and experiences with artistic interventions in organizations. Gervaise brings to the project a special expertise with quantitative-qualitative data analysis, using ALCESTE software.

We punctuated our work week with inspiring breaks in the Kulturforum, in which the WZB is located. On Tuesday we went to the free lunchtime concert at the Philharmonie, where the trio La Bicicleta performed tango music with a member of the Berlin Philharmonic. I was so frustrated not to have brought my camera with me because the scene was enriched by couples who spontaneously broke into tango dancing–a most unusual sight in the foyer of the Philharmonie! We returned to the office with much more energy. And it was especially fitting to hear music from Argentina at this lunchtime concert because Gervaise learned Spanish in that country while she was conducting research on the gauchos in the pampa. Her fluency in Spanish is another reason that we are collaborating on this project: the data is drawn from artistic interventions that the Spanish intermediary organization Conexiones improbables is producing in the Basque country.

On Thursday we took an hour to walk around the current exhibit at the Neue Nationalgalerie. Gervaise pointed out a particularly appropriate painting for our work: Karel Appel’s Rencontre des mondes (1958). In our paper we are discussing the effects on identity development of the intercultural encounters that artistic interventions enable between the world of the arts and the world of organizations. In addition to the thematic connection between our paper and this artwork, there is the visual dimension: there are moments when the mass of data we are working with makes my brain feel like the paint looks on this canvas–which is why taking a break away from the computer and into the Kulturforum is a great thing to do with a co-author!

Rencontre des mondes, Karel Appel (1958) Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (photo ABA)

Rencontre des mondes, Karel Appel (1958) Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (photo ABA)

 

Note! La Bicicleta is seeking crowdfunding for its second CD on the platform startnext.de  If you have not yet followed up on my post earlier this month about crowdfunding for cultural projects, with the example of startnext,  this is your opportunity to try it out by going to : http://www.startnext.de/la-bicicleta-livecd-produktion

 

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