THE ART OF DISRUPTIVE BUSINESS
Tatiana Bazzichelli & Geoff Cox
Transart Institute, Tanzfabrik, Berlin
1-4 August 2011
Participants: Dianne Smith, Damon Ayers, Daniel Marchwinski, Victoria Estok, Stephan Takkides, Daniel Arnaldo Roman, Lilliam Nieves, Martin Budny, Hani Moustafa, Quint Welters, Behailu Bezabih, Sonia Barrett, Matt Wyatt, Andrew Telichan, Alvin McIntyre, Gwen Charles.
The seminar investigates some of the interconnections between art, activism and business. We will examine how artists, rather than simply refusing the market, are generating ‘social hacks’, producing critical interventions from within. As the distinction between production and consumption appears to have collapsed, every interaction in the info-sphere seems to have become a business opportunity. In this way, the creative intersections between business and art become a crucial territory for re-invention and the rewriting of symbolic and cultural codes, generating political actions, social innovation, but also unexpected consequences and a deep level of irony and modification of prevailing business logic.
We are not suggesting these are new issues — as there are many examples of artists making interventions into the art market and alternatives to commodity exchange — but we aim to discuss some of the recent strategies that have emerged from a deep understanding of the network economy. Examples derive from software development and net cultures, such as peer production, free culture initiatives, gift economies, extreme sharing networks or open source business models. More specifically, we would cite the significance of radical sharing communities on the net to disrupt the business ecosystem, and offer alternatives, even if this comes in compromised form in the case of the social web. And yet, clearly value is produced from the social web too; it becomes more a question of what kind of business model is preferred and how returns, or rather benefits, are distributed. We maintain there is nothing wrong with doing business as such.
Session 1. INTRODUCTION TO THE ART OF DISRUPTIVE BUSINESS
The seminar is introduced against a backdrop of the financial crisis, the withdrawal of public subsidy for the arts, and the peculiar relationship of art to the economy.
slides 1 (PDF)
Session 2. COMMON PARTICIPATION AND NETWORKING ENTERPRISES
It may seem evident that business enterprises of social networking built their corporate image by re-appropriating the language and the values of the first phase of networked art and hacker culture.
Is it possible to imagine alternative artistic and activist routes to intervene creatively within (and not merely against) business models?
slides 2 (PDF)
Session 3. PEOPLE TO PEOPLE ALTERNATIVES
Are there ways of doing business that challenge definitions of social wealth? A peer to peer system in this way might be considered ‘postcapitalist’ in the production of a social relation based on sharing and the common good.
slides 3 (PDF)
Session 4. DISRUPTIVE-INNOVATION
The business idea of ‘disruption-innovation’ represents a creative act that shifts the way a particular logic operates and thus presents newfound opportunities. Does this mean that well-meaning critical strategies of artists and activists are self-defeating?
slides 4 (PDF)
other images from the workshop: