The future of art and culture
The extra-thick issue (due to the 60th anniversary of the Boekman Foundation) looks ahead and asks the question: Who defines the future of art and culture? This question is refined with follow-up questions such as: Is it the artists themselves or do they define the future?ëtechnological developments what does that future look like? What role does cultural policy play in this and what should it look like? The articles' perspectives include art, technology and system.
The political charge of art today, according to Gargard, lies in its expectation
In her article "You have a name, I love you," Clarice Gargard names the political aspect of art. "Art has the power to (re)imagine ourselves and the world and thereby change it." This political aspect of art carries the risk that art is primarily about the message and artistry is lost. The political charge of art, according to Gargard, is nowadays contained in its expectation (within the limits of the conditions of subsidizers and institutions). Gargard calls this a worrisome development "(...) especially if your existence as an artist is already a political act an sich." And a little later in the article, "In a capitalist society, it remains difficult as an artist to balance between authentic expression and that which currently sells." Gargard identifies the trend among artists of today (and tomorrow) that they are more often making work that combines art with social criticism, politics, spirituality and self-development.
Amal Alhaag, in her article "A (polluted) horizon," writes about the model of mutual aid groups as "alternative infrastructure that provides opportunities, resources and space for all. Two of the questions she raises in this regard are: Who can afford to live below the poverty line? and What happens when we put the self-reliance and lived knowledge/experience of artists, cultural workers, small initiatives, collectives et cetera at the center instead of the lectures/vision documents/business models of curators, art historians, collections, institutions and their managers?
In a culture change, you don't key agreements into systems outside people, but change attitudes withinín people
Other articles in this thick Boekman also address the critical attitude of artists (Thusë Dankert), AI and Big Tech (Marleen Stikker). Several authors wrote about systemic change in the Dutch cultural system, each from a different perspective, with Tabo Goudswaard initiating a cultural shift and calling for the liberation of making: "Making power is invaluable in places where social change is needed. But it is trapped in the arts and culture domain. That is why a cut-and-paste change is needed in society and also in the arts and culture domain. In a culture shift, you don't key agreements into systems outside people, but change attitudes withinín people. Mastery is in people (in everyone) rather than just in an arts and culture domain."
In the opening article of Boekman #134: Art education at mbo and hbo, Joke de Wolf describes the landscape of mbo and hbo art education in the Netherlands, what does it look like, how is it financed, what is its history, what can be improved? Also addressed are questions about the connection of art education to professional practice and opportunities to move on from mbo art education to hbo. Throughout the Boekman, young creators are geïnterviewed about their education and professional practice.
Impact. From buzzword to integrated approach
Boekman Extra #41 is about impact, a term that also comes up a lot in the arts and culture sector. However, little research has been done into how the sector itself views impact. Impact Centre Erasmus and TrueMotion investigated to what extent cultural organizations, financiers and branch organizations are aware of impact and what is needed to work in an impact-oriented way. "When impact-oriented work is implemented in policyïmplemented - and the recent advice of the Council for Culture (2023) steers in this direction - it is important to have a clear vision and a joint eye for the challenges and opportunities involved. After all, accountability for impact must be appropriate for cultural organizations and not be accompanied by increased regulatory and reporting pressures and limited artistic freedom."
Boekman Extra #42: Diversity in the cultural sector has the subtitle "An impetus for more meaningful definiërun and measure" and involves research commissioned by the National Museum of World Cultures in collaboration with the Boekman Foundation. For good diversity and inclusion policies, definiërun and measure indispensable. The downside is that it causes institutions much discomfort, friction and controversy. The researchers identify current ways of measuring and monitoring diversity and make recommendations for innovative approaches.