Excerpt from “Business, Open Innovation and Art”, written by BeiBei Song.
For much of human history, artistry and craftsmanship were natural ingredients in product making and commerce. The Industrial Age, taken over by machines and assembly lines, squeezed cultural values and uniqueness out of many products, in favor of uniformity, volume and speed, to minimize costs and maximize profits. While industrialization improved the human condition in many ways, this “dehydration” in business has been pervasive—humans were used simply as machines to enable mass production; corporate offices were places for making a living but not living a life; and 20th century management was all about efficiency, the bottom-line, and shareholder value (with an obsession about quarterly earnings). Art went its own way, with artists either starving or celebrated in museums and auction houses away from everyday life, or some precarious point in between. This bifurcation led to antipathy between the two worlds, which is taken for granted in modern society. Artists view businesspeople as philistines, and businesspeople cannot see much use of art in corporate life beyond decoration in the lobby, and maybe some branding value, even though some may patronize art after making their fortune.
Special issue editors: BeiBei Song and Piero Formica, 2020.
This publication is a reprint of articles from the Special Issue published online in the open access journal Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity (ISSN 2199-8531) from 2018 to 2020.