- freely available
J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2018, 4(4), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc4040050
3. Beuys’ Approach to Change: From Individual Artwork to Collective Transition
“My understanding of art is strictly related to everybody’s work. […]. So organically it is related to the working places of the people. And the element of self-doing, the element of self-determination, self-administration and self-organisation is the element of this anthropological type of art”.
“This threefold human being underpins Beuys’ unflagging commitment to the need for direct democracy, to an associative economics, and to a free educational and cultural sphere that would enable people to realize their higher abilities”.
“Art is the only possibility for evolution, the only possibility to change the situation in the world. But then you have to enlarge the idea of art to include the whole creativity. And if you do that, it follows logically that every living being is an artist—an artist in the sense that he can develop his own capacity. And therefore it’s necessary at first that society cares about the educational system, that equality of opportunity for self-realization is guaranteed”.
“pooled and compared their practical experience […] to cover a range of pressing themes in which radical and creative new thinking is urgently needed, discussed in the interdisciplinary way which is otherwise impossible in a world of rigidly separated specializations […] the workshops were an organic part of a work of art (Honey Pump); but they were also a practical forum for the pressing issues of society”.
4. The Political Commitment and the “Defense of Nature”
“I wish to go more and more outside to be among the problems of nature and problems of human beings in their working places. This will be a regenerative activity; it will be a therapy for all of the problems we are standing before”.
5. Blackboards as Blueprints of the Creative Process
“Ecology today means economy-ecology, law-ecology, freedom-ecology […] we cannot stop with a kind of ecology limited to the biosphere […] the ecological problem is a result of the unsolved social question in the last century. Therefore I say the only thing, which works is again a sort of enlarging of the idea of ecology toward the social body as a living being”.
6. Beuys’ Legacy
7. Beuys and OI Methodologies
Conflicts of Interest
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|Social OI Feature||Description||Beuys’ Artwork Reference|
|Participatory mapping||Problems and opportunities are identified by community members as people are best placed to identify their own needs and express their own ideas or solutions.||Approach adopted in 7000 Eichen where the sites for planting have been mapped in cooperation with the citizens of Kassel according to their priorities on requalification of areas of the city.|
|Action research||This method encourages collective problem formulation and problem solving, replacing the usual relationship of “researcher” and “researched” with a more collaborative, iterative relationship where the emphasis is on research “with” as opposed to “on” people. Users are placed at the center of the process.||The whole FIU experience has been characterized by such approach. The FIU Manifesto rejects “the idea of experts and technicians being the sole arbiters in their respective fields.” They are requested to work in a “spirit of democratic creativity” together with nonexperts to discover “the inherent reason in things”.|
|Generative paradigm||Along a participated discussion, ideas lead to other ideas and the most fertile paradigms generate new hypotheses, expanding the insight and the possibilities. This feature requires a “creative ignorance” attitude, where the path of discovery leaves the knowledge maps of incremental innovation. Boundaries of fenced systems are overstepped by setting unprecedented connections through system thinking. Serendipity driven results are envisaged.||The symbolism of fat, as well as of the beehive, has been widely adopted to represent the transition from chaos to order, with the proceeding from disparate thoughts to a solid representation of a collective view. The Art–Science discovery process, substantiated by the blackboards, proceeds step-by-step from intuition to evidence, exploring possible connections and paths toward the Truth.|
|Design thinking||It is a methodology used to solve complex problems, finding desirable solutions for the users. The design mindset is not problem-focused but solution-focused and action-oriented toward creating a preferred future. Logic, imagination, intuition, and systemic reasoning are combined to explore possibilities of what could be and to create desired outcomes.||The Social Sculpture process anticipates the design thinking features. Especially in FIU workshops, a set of problems (global and local ones) were selected and proposed. Participants were asked to offer possible solutions arising from their knowledge, skills, and intuition. Organizers were facilitating the process, setting the conceptual framework, animating, and facilitating selection of the most promising ones and their further proceedings.|
|Community building actions||A group of people is driven to recognize a common goal regardless of the diversity of their backgrounds. Open and effective communication is set toward the common goals, establishing a sense of reciprocal safety.||We have reported the Piantagione Paradise project where the need of regenerating biodiversity has been shared with local communities that have been fully involved along the process.|
|Promotion of individual creativity||Individuals are stimulated to share their knowledge in a creative, collective effort. Intrinsic passion and interest in the goals are used as triggers, self-confidence is promoted in a nonthreatening, noncontrolling climate. Combination and recombination, such as the “intersection” among individual capabilities, is incentivized.||This is one of the most distinctive features of the Social Sculpture. Everyone can contribute to change and self-determination, transforming the everyday acts of life into an artistic act by combining physical and spiritual material. The scope of education and performances is essentially to promote this attitude.|
|Crowd-based approach||It can refer to “in-kind” contribution (crowdsourcing, as the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by collecting contributions from a large group of people) and “in-cash” contribution (crowdfunding, as a financing method to fund a project with relatively modest contributions from a large group of individuals, rather than seeking substantial sums from a small number of investors).||The Social Sculpture actions have been supported by a large in-kind contribution, in terms of shared knowledge, time and workforce. Crowdfunding of large scale projects has been implemented through the collection of contribution in change of small artworks. In the 7000 Eichen project, in addition to the initial funding provided by Dia Art Foundation, further sources included individual tree sponsorships, donations from many other artists as well as significant contributions by Beuys himself.|
|Multidisciplinarity||It is the attitude of combining several academic disciplines or professional specializations in an approach to a topic or problem.||Events like 100 Days of Free International University are fully coherent with this feature. Participants and invited experts were coming from different disciplines and professional domains. The approach adopted for the discussion was topic oriented, mixing the different contributions during the “search for truth”.|
|Disruptive and scalable innovation||Disruptive innovation is the introduction of a product, service, or operational model into an established field where it performs better than existing offerings, thereby displacing leaders in that particular field. Scalable, even exponentially, solutions and organizations are expected and promoted. The assumption is that if a problem has been solved by someone and the solution works, it should be globally scaled up.||Beuys is affording global challenges, and his action is aimed at establishing a symbolic reference and an open methodology to scale-up. In the Defense of Nature, replantation artworks are just the beginning of a global action extended to the regeneration of the whole planet.|
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