It will be soon fifteen years ago when Thomas (Koeplin) and I started our first conversations about the positive influence art could have on the global economy. What if – we thought – we would be able to distill how artists work and to offer this essence to professional organizations – profit and non-for profit – and the people within in order to support the idea of a more sustainable global economy. Already then we believed in the power of art-based processes when it comes to “doing the right things right”.
In 2002 I went to an exhibition in the Hamburger Deichtorhallen titled “Art & Economy” (Catalogue cover is pictured above). What we found was great but also little disappointing. The majority of pieces exhibited did not illustrate what we were looking for. It was rather about art for and about companies and the relationship when it comes to articulating how companies pocket art in order to sell more or to enhance their reputation. We believed and still believe this discussion was already made obsolete by the works of Duchamps, Warhol, Liechtenstein and others. I left the exhibition somewhat disappointed but with strong intention to continue the research on the subject of art-based thinking and action.
Thomas and I continued for a little while but then suddenly paused for many good reasons. This is now a decade ago. Time has come to start again as we realized in conversations with many friends and colleagues that current trends and developments in our global society and economy require a correction. A correction where the arts can play a major role so that innovation and evolution are sustainable and have a human touch.