We can, of course, appreciate l’art pour l’art – for its aesthetic beauty or a thought-provoking concept. But at In4Art, we believe there’s more to it. The greatest potential of art perhaps lies in the ways in which its experiments are often at the forefront of societal and technological change. This is particularly exciting in those areas that are most likely to witness transformative change in the coming years and decades: the intersection between biology and technology, next generation internet, and materials for a sustainable future.
Artistic experiments help us to deconstruct the status quo; they enable us to see beyond existing structures. But they can also help us go one step further – to actively challenge the status quo and imagine feasible solutions for a better, more sustainable future. Our challenge is to translate these experiments into new structures that enable us to transition to a next economy – one which is inclusive and circular.
As well as sparking innovation, artistic experimentation can also function as an engine for that innovation. By thinking differently, hacking, and challenging current thought structures, new possibilities arise from which we can construct responsible innovations – innovations that redefine value in broader terms than financial growth and promote the use of assets over their ownership.
Far from being a ‘one-way street’, the relationship between art and innovation can often prove to be mutually beneficial. Consider, for example, the ways in which we might realise new practices by applying mysterious new technologies, moving said technologies in new directions, or giving existing technologies a completely new function or meaning. And it almost goes without saying that proposing solutions to the biggest problems of our time is a visually strong vehicle for most any artist. The most cutting-edge art of today, after all, is the offspring of science and technology. And as such, it offers ways of seeing beyond existing structures and presents new visions of possible futures.
From the near-endless variety of artistic interest that artists may choose to work from, we have identified four distinct categories that correlate strongly to outcomes supportive of innovation. All of the artworks in our database fall into one of these four categories and have been analysed accordingly.
A few examples of inspiring art projects
In4Art maintains a growing database of hundreds of relevant art projects and experiments from around the globe. From the tremendous amount of creative thought, experiment, and critical analysis on offer, we highlight a small selection of inspirational examples below.