The Creative Imperative lecture at Stedelijk

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I’m giving a lecture at the Stedelijk the 12th of November called The 12 Networking Truths Read more here and see the short excerpt of the talk below.


To conclude the series, we will devote our attention to the concept of the readymade, which fundamentally challenged ideas of artistic originality in an age of the neo-liberal flow of commodities. We will explore the fate of the readymade in contemporary society and visual culture, sustained by endless processes of appropriation, remediation, and remix on the one hand, and by the growing opportunities for individualization of consumer goods on the other.

Dieter Daniels will set out by discussing the notion of the readymade in its original meaning: mass-production of commodities. Originally, the term readymade was used to denote an off-the-shelf industrial product. As an example, in 1913, Henry Ford introduced the “moving assembly line” for standardized, low-cost motorcars, sold from stock instead of being produced on demand. Three years later, Marcel Duchamp, who had just arrived in the United States from Paris, first used the term  readymade for an artwork. Since then, the idea of the readymade has become central to the artistic practice of the twentieth and twenty-first century, because, in a world full of things, the act of choice becomes creative and individualistic, replacing the myth of thecreatio ex nihilo. Daniels’ lecture will discuss the shifting relations of commodities, consumerism, creativity, and originality – with an outlook on the postmodern, re-contextualised neo-readymades of contemporary appropriation art.

Jonas Lund will give a lecture discussing some of his recent works, and how they explore notions of authorship, evaluation, and value creation within the contemporary art world and art production. From The Fear of Missing Out(2013), an exhibition in which the artist wrote a series of algorithms that created instructions for how to produce works of art, to Studio Practice(2014), in which the artist created his own factory for art production with an embedded evaluation system which was live-streamed over the Web. Lund often creates systems that question the value of the art object and how the surrounding network of the art world creates value. In a creative industries-inspired, app-centric cultural climate, wherein art is challenged to prove its usefulness and financial relevance, the possibility of mass produced, technology enabled art objects seems more appropriate than ever.