On 21 September, the final summit of the Artsformation project took place in Brussels. For the occasion, a journal was produced, retracing the various stages of Artsformation’s work, providing an overview of the project and illustrating the reflections, results and ideas that emerged during these years of work.
« Three years ago, with Artsformation, we embarked on an exploration to discern the intricate relationship between the arts and our unfolding digital society. Our mission was not just to observe, but to actively engage in understanding how the arts are intertwined with digital transformation. We believed that the arts could serve as a significant bridge, fostering a more inclusive and sustainable digital era.
Our approach was multifaceted. We were not only focused on theoretical perspectives. Instead, we aimed to bring the arts to the forefront as an instrumental player in the digital shift, weaving to gether insights from the artistic, technological, entrepreneurial, and societal spheres.
Assembled from diverse backgrounds, our team was com prised of academics, artists, and societal stakeholders. This colla borative spirit allowed us to employ a blend of research methods, some traditional and others innovative, like those rooted in artistic practices. This holistic approach aimed not just to advance acade mic understanding but also to translate these insights into actio nable strategies.
Central to our research was the artist’s viewpoint. We ende avored to comprehend how artists perceive and navigate the digi tal transformation, and how their practices are influenced and can influence in return. Likewise, the project explored the role of the arts in enterprise and their interaction and influences on business methods and organisations. Artsformation also paid attention to the engagement of the arts with societal issues, with special interest in those artistic practices that tackle challenges deriving from the digital transformation in European society.
Community engagement was another pivotal component. Recognizing the arts’ potential to address societal challenges, especially those emerging from digital transformation in Europe, we actively facilitated artist residencies. We also curated diverse exhibitions in various European locales, fostering dialogues between artists and the communities they resonate with.
Our findings, summarized on the following pages, were illuminating. A significant number of artists are channeling their creativity to contribute to a more democratic, inclusive, and sustainable digi tal transformation in Europe. Their stories, challenges, and triumphs are documented in our detailed project reports. As a culmination of our efforts, we’ve also developed participatory arts-based practices and tools, which we hope will serve as valuable resources for those interested in the confluence of arts and the digital realm. »
From » “Introduction: Exploring the Intersection Between Arts, Society and Technology”, Christian Fieseler, Artsformation Journal, 2023.
Photo credits: Serena Vittorini