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Art for Business’ Sake by peterfuchs
September 23, 2008, 3:40 pm
Filed under: Art as Gift Research blog | Tags:
Street Access Machine® by Technologies To The People®

Street Access Machine® by Technologies To The People®

« ART FOR BUSINESS’ SAKE – Technologies To The People® is a work in progress. It’s a metaphor about the use of technologies, while acting as a public provocation. I am creating a virtual company that exists only as an artistic project, though it actually operates for the rest of society. Technologies To The People® works with the media infrastructure of corporate companies. Technologies To The People® habitually sponsors artistic events through its representation policies. Technologies To The People® is aimed at people in the so-called Third World, as well as the homeless, orphaned, expatriated or unemployed, fringe groups, runaways, immigrants, alcoholics, drug addicts, people suffering from mental dysfunctions and all other categories of “undesirables”, all those without social ties and unable to find a safe place to live, all those who have to beg in order to survive. .»  – Daniel Garcia Andujar, TTTP (Technologies To The People®)

”L’art pour l’art” or “Art for Art’s Sake” (Ars Gratia Artis) was the slogan for several generation of artist on the late 19th, early 20th century – as Wikipeia suggests:

“Art for art’s sake” was a bohemian creed in the nineteenth century, a slogan raised in defiance of those who — from John Ruskin to the much later Communist advocates of socialist realism — thought that the value of art was to serve some moral or didactic purpose. “Art for art’s sake” affirmed that art was valuable as art, that artistic pursuits were their own justification and that art did not need moral justification — and indeed, was allowed to be morally subversive.”

For those who are familiar with the nowadays relation of art and business funding, the above quote may sound a little bit odd as the artistic struggle for identity and self affirmation, in which “L’art pour l’art” was an important step to make, seems to diverted to a different direction, towards the Art for Business’ Sake…

“L’art pour l’art”, which is largely misunderstood as a movement turning art’s focus into itself and becoming self referential and inbreed, was aiming to create a media which was in fact not supporting a bourgeois system of reproduction, but rather detach itself from the daily interest of those who wished to use art’s pure decorative function. The very idea behind “L’art pour l’art” was to create an independent, self sustaining platform for critical thoughts and creating a neutral point of view to the society, for which the artist was creating works for.

It might be impossible to point out a single direction where nowadays arts are heading, or even to put a finger on what is the “general” direction of contemporary art, or it is impossible even to say if nowadays art fulfilled the brave concept and heritage of “L’art pour l’art” original idea. Yet, we can present art projects, artist groups which seriously consider the question and status of “L’art pour l’art” even now, and constantly investigating how art becoming more or less distanced from “moral and didactic purpose”.But the main question concerning “L’art pour l’art” is, if the market is considereed to be a “moral and didactic purpose” or not, as nowadays Contemporary Art is seems to be much dependent on it’s market. On the other hand, those who defile “L’art pour l’art”, like the socialist-realist, constructivist artist and their avantgarde followers fight for the same kind of intellectual independence for their actions, but with a much critical approach towards society.

The posts under the tag: Projects critical to Artworld in this blog are trying to collect some of the projects which are dealing with the notion of this dubious relationship, especially on the notion of donating and gifting but as the number of artworks are quite high, I would appreciate any suggestion and help collecting at least a fracture of the scores of such works. Please do it in the comments.
Anyway, an interesting article from the Wired can be found on this issue, summarizing many aspects of the “Art for Business’ Sake” relationship.

An example:

The Technologies To The People® artist group has a number of artworks which are dealing with the relationship of Business and Arts: the Street Access Machine® is a simplified ATM machine and cash register to ease the process of donating money to beggars.

To promote these aims, Technologies To The People® has developed and manufactured the Street Access Machine® for the fringe groups previously mentioned. The machine can be used 24 hours a day with all credit cards (cybercash). With the Street Access Machine®, credit cards are now welcome everywhere – including the street. All you need to do is install a Street Access Machine® and the problems of begging will be a thing of the past. Those wishing to donate money to the needy simply present a credit card and stipulate the sum they are willing to part with. The destitute can withdraw the money from a cash dispenser using their Recovery Card® in conjunction with a personal password. Simple to use and interest-free. At last, a comprehensive credit card service for one and all.  (from the Technologies To The People® website)

The clear irony of the work aims a system of production which the above Wired article refers as: The term (Art for Business Sake) is used to describe art and nonprofit sectors using the strategic, long-term investment model employed by venture capitalists that requires business plans and productivity reports. As “L’art pour l’art”, the long time achievement of generation of artist are not meant to be treated as ” a  chance to acquire cheap innovative technology for later mass production”, but as a tool of critical thinking and change, no matter if rallied aroud “L’art pour l’art” or its opposite, activist, political art.

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