Creativity & Collaboration in the 20th century.

I gave a talk a few weeks ago at Creat_ED and talked about entrepreneurism, fearlessness but really, I suppose I was talking about collaboration in hindsight. I’m reading Prague: Capital of 20th Century Surrealism and what’s immediately obvious is that artists were (maybe still are, I’d have to ask James about that) much better at collaboration than designers are. They put the effort in. They visited each other’s countries, would write surrealist pieces, poems, would create art that nodded towards those travels. Not un-related, a band from my youth, Les Rita Mitsouko had their first hit singing about the death of their mentor, a 32 year old un-googlable Argentinian dancer and choreographer called Marcia Moretto. I’d be impressed if Lady Gaga ever sung about Orlan. We should be good at this, but we really aren’t. I don’t think the internet has helped particularily, I think it’s just made it easier to be influenced by but not engage with others and their work. Steal an image here, pin it, put it in a deck and move on.

There’s been a return to good old fashioned salon-type dinners recently in London (I got invited to two in the past month) and maybe that’s a way to go back to a deeper form of engagement with others, but so far the dinners have had “themes”. Nothing worse than mixing food with homework as far as I’m concerned. At least drinks and nibbles never pretends to be anything else than a networking event, noone would want to network with a great meal. All I’d really want to see is a proper absinthe-fuelled fantastic dinner for less than £20 with people I don’t know but whose work I like or might have heard of. Anyone?

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Founder of designswarm & the Good Night Lamp. Ex CEO of Tinker London, Head of Bulb Labs till May 2019.

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