“From the Lab to the Factory: Bridging creators and industry”
Ruth Pagès, Gemma San Cornelio, Antoni Roig
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
In recent years, and especially under the current economic crisis, there is an ever growing trend to urgently promote innovation. This, in its turn, fosters interest in creativity and the spring of diverse kinds of relationships between industry and artists. The labour conditions of such relations could be regarded through the lens of the definition of “creative class” (Florida 2002), yet some other authors have highlighted its deep degrees of precariousness (Terranova 2005; Lazzarato 1996, 2008; McRobbie 2001, 2004). Regarding the conceptual level of such relations, on the one hand, it can be discerned that romantic concepts of the artist-as-genius and of creativity persist, linked to the vision of the artist as an agent of change, divergent thinking, or fresh air into industry –which seem much needed for innovation purposes and for the sake of economic success. On the other hand, some artists claim for a redefinition of their very role, similar to that of the researcher, valuing their own methodology as an asset. Such redefinition is being proposed due to their transdisciplinary activity that overcomes the boundaries of the traditional Art World moving into the science, technology or industry fields.
Moreover, this context varies depending on territories (country or region), and its own conception of cultural or creative industries, and consequently the policies applied. The research we present is trying to trace the relationships established between these independent creators and the industry through some specific initiatives based in the Spanish territory. The cases selected: ‘Talent Factory’, belonging to Fundació Digitalent (Barcelona) and ‘Disonancias’ (San Sebastian and Barcelona) bridge both sides of the coin. The aim is to examine both structural information regarding how these collaborative relationships are established in terms of authoring, contracts and labour conditions, while relating them to the changes and evolutions regarding the very concepts of talent, creativity, artist or innovation.