|The beginning of the 17th century saw the formation of the first well-documented speculative bubble in the history of mankind. In those days, speculation was not focused on spices, real estate or similar desirables, but indeed tulip bulbs.|
It is possible to relate this story (an extended version here) to more recent events associated with cryptocurrencies, and to read it as a warning reminder or didactic play. However, this has already been done extensively, and there is more to discover.
Astonishingly, the Dutch have not lost their interest in flowers over time, not in the arts or the economy Tulips remain one of the leading export commodities; fields are filled with flowers as far as the eye can see - a sight world-renowned on account of paintings by Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet and many others.
Claude Monet - Tulip Fields in Holland
Another lesson to be learned from this story (but also, for instance, from the early days of the internet) then is, that the initial euphoria requires a break, a turning point, so that something truly substantial can emerge. But significance requires time - and humanity - according to musician Björk ."We can be certain that the military, the B corporate world, the government and so on are going to use tech and I feel it is important that the artist helps define it and mold it. Because who else is going to put humanity and soul into it?"
Certainly, a turning point can be of much smaller a nature, such as the holidays ahead of us, or the upcoming turn of the year. Although it is not a subsequent requisite, we wish you your own moments of significance in the new year, but mostly, we wish you a festive time with your loved ones!
All the best,
P.S. Our year in retrospective
For the first time, over ten members of our network have been involved in projects and events in very different contexts this year. Examples are the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), the German Statutory Accident Insurance (DGUV), IT companies Comparex and Incadea, the Association of German Business Engineers (VWI) and the German railway network (Deutsche Bahn).
Our ideas on cultural education were featured in a publication by the Association of Arts and Culture of the German Economy at the Federation of German Industries e.V., while the Werte-Index, an institution mapping how and in which context societal values are discussed on the internet, published an interview with us. Artist Verena Wald has translated our findings from over 100 interviews into a series of etchings - more about those during the months to come.
There is now a German version of our website. Additionally, as has been done in previous years, many interviews with artists, researchers and other interesting people have been uploaded to the site during the year.
We were inside the time capsule with musician SAFI and learned about empathy and movement from dancer Lucija Mikas. Wolf Jenschonnek, founder of Berlin’s Fab Lab, also talked to us about movement. He is convinced that one has to leave one’s niche position in order to find great solutions. Artist Sharon Molloy has practical experience in this field. Her colleague Sebastian Heinertaught us how to act out oneself, and graffiti artist Bomber One aka Helge Steinmann how to contribute to the world we live in.
Author Michael Atavar is of the opinion that sub-consciousness is at the root of creativity, and composer Ludger Brümmer thinks that a moment of surprise is always attached to creativity. The latter statement is close the findings of scientific historian Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, whom we interviewed about the nature of the experiment.
For the first time, we talked to artists from China this year. Zhang Wei reported that artists need to express themselves and Dai Chenlian explained to us that art for him provided a reason to live. Researcher and professor for innovation and information technology at the Ivey Business School in Canada Robert D. Austin reported that art can be a reason, but is not unconditional, as artists share the same world with everyone else. A world where an increase in information is not paralleled with an increase in vocabulary according to artist, author and Beuys-Pupil Johannes Stüttgen.
Moreover, we started another research project, in which we met companies that are artistic masterpieces according to our definition, meaning they are characterized by diversity, purpose, autonomy and elasticity. To name but a few, we had the pleasure of interviewing Sonnentor, Otto, Beurer, Vaude and Zotter. In the new year, we will report on how these and many other companies are already paving the way for better business.
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