© Magnum fotograaf Carl Dekeyser
arteconomy connects art, creative industries, science, technology, economics and education by allowing them to step outside their frameworks and to strengthen their organization and/or region. The aim is to create new ideas, new products, new services and a different view of the organisation's culture and/or structure.
Art and economy are interlinked and interact with each other in a changing way. We don't have to build a bridge between them. We only need to clarify that the connection is always present, but sometimes less visible, less tangible or interrupted. The form of the connection is the result of interaction between man and context.
2. Penetrate to test
To penetrate, to listen empathically, be emotionally connected goes deeper than to observe from the outside. It is about understanding each other's true nature by temporarily identifying ourselves with it, testing the space between us and the other, so that we can see and understand our individuality better through it. The better we know the other, the better we know ourselves and vice versa. Everything then becomes more related and we come closer to our authenticity. In this way mutual trust is created and far-reaching concepts and collaborations can be established.
3. Inter-space, place of exception
A mental, emotional and physical place where all partners can penetrate the world of the other, where boundaries can be explored, must be created. A passage, an open space of possibilities in which participants can experiment with new ways of looking, thinking and doing freely and safely. Experiments that have for them a personal and for the whole an added value. This is where talents can be unfolded. Because art is considered harmless, it can be more radical in its proposal. That's why you should say what you think, keep no distance, participate, engage in this place of exception. Use the safe space of art to be 'dangerous'. Use fiction to shape reality.
The artist inspires the entrepreneur just as the entrepreneur inspires the artist. We are not just artists or entrepreneurs. We are and have something of both. The entrepreneur also has non-economic talents and the artist has non-artistic talents.
In the best moments and processes, the flow between the artist and the entrepreneur can be so strong that the one understands the other so well that he operates temporarily from the other perspective, as it were.
How does Arteconomy create and supervise these processes of connection and co-existence ?
Four levels in the combination of art and economy
In order to interpret the above approach in a more explicit way, we provide a more in-depth theoretical basis here. We start from a diagram by Professor Lotte Darso, from her book Artful Creation Learning-Tales of Arts-In-Business. Professor Lotte Darso organizes the possible place of art within the economy on four levels: art as a decor, event, instrument or transformation.
For example, a company buys the work of an artist and uses it to embellish its surroundings. This form of expression can either be very superficial or have a deeper meaning in which the relationship is made between the atmosphere and ambition of the company and the work of the artist.
A company commits itself to an artist at the event level. This interaction can be very superficial such as tickets to a performance or lead to a far-reaching engagement such as the artist's residence in the company.
A company uses the instruments, methods and expertise of an artist to look at its own business context and thus actively intervene in order to achieve the business objectives such as team building with company theatre, workshops on creativity, communication training, etc.
A company enters into a profound strategic, integrating process of change with the artist and his world of thought, insights and vision. Together they create, from a felt and co-creative inter-space, new value around leadership, corporate and safety culture, corporate values, identity and focus on innovation in marketing tools, innovative products and services....
Arteconomy notes that at every next level, the relationship between the two parties is deepening. At the level of decor and event, it is more volatile, more impersonal and less impactful for both parties or for one of the parties involved. At the following levels we talk about a more personal, sustainable and impactful cooperation with added value for both parties. The binding agent that is used in the exchange is also decisive. Money is volatile as a binding agent, while a physical process that connects reason and creativity with feelings and thought has a more profound effect.
Arteconomy works mainly on the level of transformation and departs mainly from the mindset, the mental world of the artist and less from his medium or his works of art. During the process, in the inter-space, 'the place of exception' between the partners, a physical creation is usually realised. This may be a product, a means of communication, a work of art or a representation of the process, but it is always the result of the co-creative and perceptive process that the collaborating partners have gone through. The artist decides whether or not to call the creation a work of art.
Working together on the basis of polarity or on the basis of connection ?
For Arteconomy, the values and attitude to life from which a collaboration is set up take precedence.
The collaboration between the artist and the company can start from two different starting points: 'connection' or 'polarity'. Both visions are prominently present in our society.
- Working together on the basis of 'polarity' means that the parties are facing each other. They work together because of the goal to be achieved and the interest of the initiator. That takes precedence over the relationship with the partners and the context. Everything is used to achieve the goal and the interest of the initiator. The end result is fragmented in relation to the whole.
- Working together on the basis of 'connection' means that the initiator seeks partners who share his goal and interest, thus creating a common goal and interest that forms a basis of trust. The development of the partners, the relationship, the context, the goal tob e achieved and interest of the initiator grow and change, making the whole more qualitative. The end result is layered and holistic.
These 2 cooperation modalities each have their own laws, their own result and impact. We compare some of these schematically.
Both visions are situated on a continuum in which the cooperation between the two modalities is constantly changing. The personal development, the vision of the cooperating partners, the context, the prevailing social vision and the momentum determine the movement on this continuum.
Arteconomy maps out the visions of all parties in the cooperation and works from there. Drawing a distinction between polarity and connection is not enforceable and therefore both forms often have to be used in practice, although its own DNA is 'connection'. Moving around the centre between connection and polarity testifies to being aware of both visions and being able to deal with them in a nuanced, open and accessible way. Moving at the outer edges of this continuum can lead to a dogmatic approach.
Arteconomy sets up a partnership between the artist and the entrepreneur. Arteconomy's starting point is the wish, the need of a company or a group with a common question or problem. It works at the micro level of art and the economic world, where the artist and the entrepreneur meet as partners around a common theme/goal with common and individual interests. If the theme/goal also has a shared interest for the artist and the entrepreneur, and both allow the other to penetrate his world and have it tested, then a win-win relationship arises for all partners. The quality of this relationship between the two partners strongly influences the input, the process, the end result and its impact.
Arteconomy stands for this lively and graceful choreography of two parties who really meet and grow towards mutual understanding and co-creation of what would otherwise never be possible. In this way we facilitate the creation of new added value for both parties and for the world, both economically and artistically, both emotionally and socially for the people involved in the broader social context.
Sources of inspiration
- Artful Creation Learning-Tales of Arts-In-Business, Lotte Darso; 1.edition 2004 Samfundslitteratur Denmark.
- Artistic Interventions in Organizations, research, theory and practice, Edited by Ulla Johansson Skölderdberg, Jill Woodilla and Ariane Berthion Antal; Routlegde London New York 2017.
- Vergeet autonomie. Ideologie is overal: een pleidooi voor schimmels in plaats van Flessenpost, Lara Staal; article in Recto Verso 9 March 2018.
- Vorm is leegte en leegte is vorm, commentaar op het Prajnaparamita Hartsoetra, Thich Nhat Hanh; Zen Publishing House Lautzerath 1993, Germany.
- Verbondenheid het ontstaan van menselijke relaties, Ferdinand Cuvelier; publisher Pelckmans-Agora 1998.