Thursday, 4 August 2011

Business is Art

The cliché 'we can learn from history' is in many cases nonsense - we continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. We do however have to ride that fast learning curve to create new product and have new ideas. Business is not a static immovable object it has to evolve. We have to morph into different markets, pushing our ideas onto the next phase - this is what artists do. Boundaries have to be broken and new frontiers challenged or we simply have to do it better than our rivals. We simply have to be creative.

Creativity refers to the creation of something new, improved, modified or adapted (a product, a solution, a work of art etc.) that has some kind of value. What counts as “new” may be in reference to the individual creator, or to the society or domain within which the novelty occurs, however the “newness” of a creation must not be confused with originality. What counts as “valuable” is similarly defined in a variety of ways. Most websites suffer from unoriginality; they belong to the herd of mediocrity and banality. Click – copy – paste. Click – copy – paste. Click – copy – paste. Click – copy – paste etc. This is not creativity - but is creativity all that it is cracked up to be?

There are some reference books that follow you and stay with you through out your life. 'Art Since Pop' is such a book, published in 1975 (by Dolphin). This book simply sets out to do what it says in the title, explaining art movements such as Process Art, Land Art, Conceptual Art and Body Art, in a brief but concise way. None of the movements of fine art covered in this pocket sized book are dealt with in great depth but it provides an informed introduction to these different concepts and methodologies, reassessing its effectiveness and ability to move on and change. The beauty of this book is the fact that it was written closer to 'as it was happening' and gives an optimistic appraisal of art movements that have since been sidelined or dismissed as mere Cul-de-sacs.

John A. Walker (b. 1938) is a British art critic and historian who has written over 15 books on modern and contemporary art with an emphasis on mass media. He has also written on design history methodology. Walker's books include Art since Pop (1975), Design history and the history of design with Judy Attfield (1990), John Latham: The Incidental Person - His Art and Ideas (1994), Cultural Offensive: America's Impact on British Art since 1945 (1998),[4] Art & Outrage (1999), Supercollector: A Critique of Charles Saatchi with Rita Hatton (2000),Left Shift: Radical Art in 1970s Britain (2001), Art in the Age of Mass Media (3rd ed.: 2001), Art and Celebrity (2003) and Firefighters in Art and Media: A Pictorial History (2009).

Walker was a Reader in Art and Design History at Middlesex University near London until retiring in 1999. He was trained as a painter at Newcastle upon Tyne.




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