Today's economy requires ingenuity from all its citizens. But, as art and entrepreneurship continue to coagulate into a single industry, what creativity exactly is has become increasingly unclear. The manager's figure used to be an antithesis to the artist. Agents were seen as powerful delegation champions, the artist was supposed to be volatile, bohemian and divinely influenced. It now appears that success in the age of convergence needs a counterintuitive function between the two positions. As artists struggle to meet demands that resemble those placed on global businesses, said companies face the pitfalls of their archaic organizational models. The solution to this crisis is much more complex than those studios that resemble garage-like factories and offices.
Wolfgang Ullrich is a German cultural theorist and art historian. In addition to consumer theories and socio-iconography, his work is concerned with the history, development and critique of our concept of art. His latest publication Der kreative Mensch explores how the idea of creativity in Western culture has developed from a divine gift into a commonly anticipated power.
Ullrich shared his views about people who use smartphones and consider themselves creative. (Apple launched a worldwide award competition for the most beautiful iPhone photograph. Similarly, their current billboard campaign does not advertise telephony, but a built-in camera on the phone.)
Ullrich explained that the smartphone had not yet been invented, when this dogma of creativity asserted itself. Back then, traditional forms of the creative drive were still concerned, mostly that of expression. Originally, creativity meant the expressive – letting down one's hair, painting some watercolors, perhaps doing handicrafts. We've reached phase two with the smartphone, which involves social milieus that were not previously encouraged to be innovative. Now they're photographing, doing craft snaps, working on their posts. Ullrich is not sure whether they are inclined to call themselves creative. Since this first period of expressiveness, something that has gained much more importance is that now you have to always factor in a sort of feedback. Caution. You count your followers, their likes and comments, their retweets and their shares. Its focus is less on personal issues than it was in phase one. This is a clear contrast from that of the seventies or eighties, which saw the idea of imagination closely related to self-discovery. An Instagram account does not incentivise self-discovery. But what these apps offer is a technology that flatters all. The software flatters. A contemporary style is represented here. Just as historical art styles used to exist, we now have styles within photo apps. Surely, in 100 years people will be creating entirely different images and amused by those of our time.
If you haven't yet, check the work of the two iconic French designers André Courrèges and Thierry Mugler - yet more proof that a talented person is talented at everything. Daniel Arsham and Hedi Slimane are the contemporary example to this statement.