Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ARTSFORMATION (Mobilising the Arts for an Inclusive Digital Transformation)
Reporting period: 2020-04-01 to 2021-03-31
ARTSFORMATION intends to elevate the arts as a powerful and transformative agent through the development of knowledge, toolsets and participative experiments focusing especially on vulnerable groups in Europe. As the project’s goal, Artsformation wants to understand, analyse and promote the ways in which the arts can reinforce the benefits of the digital transformation as well as investigate its potential to intervene in the negative aspects of such phenomena in the social, cultural, economic and political fields. To deliver these goals, the Artsformation’s Consortium is composed by academic, artistic and societal organisations which collaborate together in the research and implementation components of the project to achieve success at the end of its term.
Through a combination of research methods including artistic ones, ARTSFORMATION embraces both research and implementation components looking not only to advance the academic knowledge but to translate such research into practice. In its academic core, ARTSFORMATION aims to understand how the arts and the digital transformation are related, focusing on the artists’ perspectives and their practices. Likewise, the project explores the role of the arts in enterprise and their interaction and influences on business methods and organisations. Lastly, Artsformation also pays attention to the engagement of the arts with societal issues, focusing on those artistic practices that tackle challenges deriving from the digital transformation in the European society. On the other hand, the implementation components include a number of artist assemblies and residencies as well as international workshops, exhibitions and policy advocacy as a practical component of the project involving participants and stakeholders in ARTSFORMATION.
ARTSFORMATION’s Consortium delivered the first five academic reports on the potential of the arts in shaping the digital transformation. We published a state-of-the-art report on how the arts may instil or impede changes, drawing parallels from previous thinking on transformation achieved through the arts with the current set of challenges our society faces as part of the ongoing digital transformation. We mapped how the Arts co-evolves as a result of organisational pressures, while simultaneously identifying how the Arts can have a valuable voice in shaping strategic organisational decision making. We published two further reports, one providing a historical and contemporary context about the integration of the arts within organisations and organisational management, the other providing a cross-sectional mapping of Arts integration within enterprises and organisations that relate to the digital transformation in contemporary and emerging contexts, across Europe and beyond. We also prepared and published two additional reports exploring the arts as a mobiliser for social change towards a more inclusive, democratic and accessible digital transformation. The first report introduces the socially engaged arts (SEA) and its potential to empower people not reaping the acclaimed benefits of or negatively affected by the digital revolution. The second mapped participatory and socially engaged art projects, so to provide an overview of the artistic approaches taken to use to explore our digital future.
The project also had its launching exhibition in an online format with proxy visits. The Launching exhibition under the title Rendering Refusal took place between February 15th to March 28th 2021 in Berlin, and explored what can emerge from saying no. In an attempt to broaden perspectives on long-standing political conflicts and to shape futures from contradiction and difference, the works in the exhibition suggested responsibility for plurality and materialise what is often muted, erased, or made fugitive. The project also organised a number of associated cultural events, and is currently hosting a series of artist led conversations, performances, screenings and workshops hosted by FACT, Waag and Transmediale.