A FEW DAYS AGO I VISITED FONDAZIONE PRADA IN MILAN. THIS VISIT REVEALED 3 HUGE DISRUPTORS TO ME, THAT WILL CHANGE THE CULTURAL AND CREATIVE WORLD FOR EVER.

Why I think Culture is the next Big Digital Business

By Holger Volland

DISRUPTOR NO. 1: NEW MONEY

Brands like “PRADA” are becoming more and more influential in culture and the arts. They have the money and – far more important – the freedom to establish exciting venues and new collaborations. While most museums in Europe not even have enough money for a decent marketing team, some lucky institutions can invest into a Chief Digital Officer or a Business Developer.

As a result, there is a growing and already huge gap between rich and poor institutions. Guess, which of them has better chances to develop a strategy for digital exhibitions, augmented reality projects, new funding schemes or leveraging their collection archives? Guess, which of them will look more delicious to the public, politicians and press?

DISRUPTOR NO. 2: DIGITAL CONTENT

The second disruptor in my example is the digitization of the whole cultural world. In the exhibition “L’image volée” the artist Thomas Demand shows only art work of other artists. Images that are “stolen”, as he puts it.

We are halfway through the digital cultural age: Music, film, photography and books have started (and sailed through some heavy storms). Fine art, product design, architecture and even fashion are about to follow. What can be digitized will be digitized. And everything that is digitized will be copied and shared.

What we need now is a discussion on how to deal with intellectual property and copyright of digital cultural assets. We also need to develop new business models around these digital assets. Or we need to define when, where and why free content is good. Otherwise we will leave it to uncertainty what happens to the 3D architecture models of the late Zaha Hadid, the digitized collection of the TATE or the digital plans for 3D printed fashion items.

 

DISRUPTOR NO. 3: DECENTRALIZED PRODUCTION

The artist Oliver Laric often works with 3D scans and prints. Together with the Collection Museum and Usher Gallery in Lincoln, UK, he made some of their pieces available as printed sculptures for everybody. Busts of Beethoven, Dante or Einstein were recreated as 3D models and then published online.

Digital production processes like 3D scanning, 3D printing, the digitization of Rembrandts brush style (Next Rembrandt Project) or 360° cameras are examples for new tools that enable cultural and creative production everywhere. How do artists like that idea? What does it mean for creative production companies and providers? Which cities will win the battle for locating the new and exciting creative industries? We should discuss that…

 

These 3 disruptive moments (and some more) are the reason why I think that the world of culture and the arts is about to change dramatically. And they are the reason why we want to start something new with you: THE ARTS+

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Copyright Frankfurter Buchmesse / Alexander Heimann

Photo Credit: Frankfurter Buchmesse / Alexander Heimann