When we talk about art innovation in 2020, what is your first thought? Virtual reality? 3D printing? Guided tours of exhibitions in museums from home? Where does this democratization of art could give access to all types of creation? You and I are contributing every day in one way or another to fuel the digital industry. By making purchases, by discovering visual and auditory content, we are allowing companies to innovate with the appearance of dedicated platforms by publicising and stimulating the transfer of information between consumers in the sector of entertainment and social networks.
To take an example, let us take Snapchat. To increase its audience, the company launched on October 3, 2017, a platform dedicated to artwork, helped by the artist Jeff Koons known for his works using digital technologies. This collaboration between Snapchat and the artist was the first step for smartphone users and artists to unify art with digital in the 21st century.
Over the years, rumours appeared that some art and crafts sectors would be not compatible with the digital industry as well as the capacity to support artists in terms of creativity. The improvement of digital communication and the search for content prowled thanks to new algorithms, regularly collected data as well as the evolution of the tools for virtual reality. The virtualisation of art began thanks to streaming services and boosting social networks with service extensions.
Because most of you and I consume by buying online, investments in digital are increasing exponentially. Jobs positions are created in engineering, computer science for video games, design, and architecture, to meet a growing need between consumers and artists in the field of art and leisure.
This digital boom is not only making it easier for artists and consumers to communicate, debate and exchange on art. Several companies took opportunities to boost their activities, increase turnover, raise brand awareness, improve brand image and product placement. Several sectors ranging from household consumption, industry, construction, and entertainment are already starting to implement strategies, trying to reach first millennials (generation Y) but also generation Z. Several marketing strategies are exploited for communication and advertising campaigns.
Many artists are collaborating directly with companies to make their art creations useful for commercial promotions and advertising. If you are living in Paris, you should have heard about an event organized by Siemens, which created the “Siemens connected gallery pop-up store” in 2017. Brand image and innovation capacity were improved attracting consumers in the streets and encouraging them to purchase household appliances. Company and an artist customised building decor, set-up a vernissage allowing to reveal several pieces of art, installed digital and visual experience with projections and a buffet of pastries to promote a French chef, Nicolas Paciello.
You might say, “So what?” Well, between the strengthening of communication to promote artwork and an increase in sales of companies’ products, the danger of the commercial recovery of an artist’s work to enhance a product is becoming more and more frequent. The “devaluation” of artwork for a commercial goal risks making the artwork or the entire artist’s universe to become ephemeral and finally obsolete. Also, the user could think that the artistic universe comes in part from the business. Therefore, the artist could be forgotten in the minds of consumers because their artwork or universe will be attributed to the brand and their products or packagings.
For our debate, let us take another example. In haute couture sphere, Yves Saint Laurent, and Alexander McQueen, very popular for their clothing and accessories collection items, continue to inspire several artists and consumers today. Their work and their universe impact the latest trends in this industry. On the technical and commercial level, the style and the design are taken up by other dressmakers or designers who succeeded them, creating derivations of the original models. These models are synthesized and assembled into products which are promoted by a big communication campaign to attract customers and increase turnover. In this situation, art can be diverted, reworked to serve purposes other than those of the original artist.
After these examples, which question should be? Nowadays, does the work of an artist retain the same essence and the same symbolic and artistic value? Is that still the same goal for the artist to promote an idea, concept, or emotional feeling? By their business activities and their influence, does the artist’s work serve as bait for companies encouraging consumers to increase shopping activity?
We will answer these questions in the next article! 😊
Stimulate your creativity through debate!
Guilhem de Rooyesteyn
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