You wouldn’t do business with artists because they are too flaky, they do what they want to do, turn up when they want to and are not interested in making money, or worse they are hostile to making money. But it is not just artists; I get to hear the same thing about scientists. That’s interesting to me because I work with both on a daily basis and the thing that makes artists and scientists similar is their open ended, creative curiosity. A science paper is just a sign post of a much more complex exploration, the paper may give great insight, but the scientist continues to explore. The same is true of the artist’s exhibition. An exhibition is not a full stop, but a consolidation of thought and experience, readying them for much deeper exploration. So you wouldn’t do business with an artist or scientist because they exhibit unbound creative curiosity and business is up against it working on innovation, or application of ideas, let along spending time and money on mere speculation. Or it could be the best thing you ever did.
Last week, with some guilt, I went to Borders in the CBD to by a book. Guilty for picking over the bones of a dying business, guilty as the staff talked about their unknown futures. I was after a book that had been a business best seller for the last 6 years. Unexpectedly Borders had what I wanted on their shelves. I am so used to retail stores not having something in stock that my initial bad feeling left me and I got excited by the large 40% off tickets, I found my book and looked to the back for the price, calculated the discount and then it struck me, the deep problem that retail is facing. The discount price was still five dollars more expensive than if it had been purchased from Amazon (that’s including shipping). My emotions had swung from guilt to excitement to disappointment. (more…)
When we think of culturally vibrant cities with a strong community focus we often leave out business; it is something practical and removed from us as citizens. It may not be clear at the moment, but we are undergoing a transition from process to creative economies. The very things that make up culture and community will be the stuff of business, but not business as we know it. The great work of local groups like MEGA and Renew Adelaide show that today’s entrepreneurial mind set relies much more on culture and creativity for success and that once barriers are taken away, business suddenly has the potential to be a community and cultural activity, helping us to create the environments we enjoy, not one were we are subservient consumers. South Australia does this sort of thing well, if we look to our strengths, build what suits us and resist the pressure to slavishly copy other cities we will achieve the types of communities we want. We have everything we need right here, we each just need to trust our own vision and come together to make it real.
Gavin Artz, CEO Australian Network for Art and Technology