EKV related – 14 june – Booklaunch Australia

juni 14, 2017

In defence of serendipity: the Silicon Emperor is wearing no clothes

Serendipity is the process of finding something useful, valuable or just generally “good” without actually looking for it. Throughout the history of invention and discovery serendipity has functioned as a sort of Freudian unconscious, leading – or, perhaps better, tricking – the curious human mind onto unexpected novelty.

And yet, only recently have we started to become truly aware of the crucial role of serendipity in our attempts to creatively grasp toward the future….

Read the article

Photo: The Australian launch of Sebastian Olma’s book, In Defence of Serendipity: For a Radical Politics of Innovation (Repeater Books, London 2016), was hosted on Wednesday, June 14, at 4pm by CME.

EKV/UvT – Masterclass Sensory Augmentation

mei 4, 2017

Samen met de Universiteit Tilburg organiseerde het lectoraat Mensgericht Creëren een masterclass op het STRP festival 2017. Deze masterclass in zogeheten Sensory Augmentation vormde onderdeel van een langdurige samenwerking met de Universiteit
Tilburg waarin wordt beoogd een dialoog te ontwikkelen tussen wetenschappelijk en artistiek onderzoek naar menselijke waarneming.

lees verder: Leaflet EKV_STRP_masterclass

EKV related – interview met lector Olma – V2_ online

april 3, 2017

Arie Altena: In Defence of Serendipity, For a Radical Politics of Innovation is a book on the creative industries, innovation, creativity and technology. Why did you choose the idea of serendipity as the anchor point for the book, instead of focusing on innovation, invention, or creativity?
Sebastian Olma: Serendipity… It’s an interesting term isn’t it? Many of the terms that circulate in the world of innovation and creativity have been emptied out of their meaning, including innovation, creativity, co-creation, cross-pollination… They have become vacuous signifiers, words that mean nothing. Serendipity is part of this world too, but there seems to be a linguistic peculiarity to the term that makes it somewhat resistant to abuse or misuse. Lees verder

EKV related – interview met lector Olma – ChangeX online

april 3, 2017

Klappe zu
Warum ungewolltes Entdecken systematisch verhindert wird – ein Interview mit Sebastian Olma
Interview: Winfried Kretschmer
Serendipity, das ist dieses seltsame Phänomen, das doch präzise die Bedingungen von Kreativität beschreibt: etwas zu entdecken, wonach man gerade nicht gesucht hat. Etwas, das auf keinem Innovationsplan stand. Und in keinem Innovationsworkshop prototypt wurde. Das Neue schlüpft durch die Katzenklappe des Zufalls in die Welt, sagt der Innovationsforscher Sebastian Olma. Blöd nur, wenn die Klappe zu ist. Zugeschlagen, versperrt. Blockiert von einem instrumentellen Verständnis von Kreativität und Innovation, das in Wirklichkeit aber die Bedingungen untergräbt, die diese möglich machen. Lees verder

EKV – Autonomy and Weltbezug – digital publication

maart 6, 2017


Autonomy and Weltbezug: Towards an Aesthetic of Performative Defiance
Author: Sebastian Olma

In this essay, Sebastian Olma explores possibilities for reformulating an effective notion of aesthetic autonomy for our time. As even a cursory look at the history of aesthetics reveals, the question of autonomy was from the beginning related to that of Weltbezug, i.e., art’s appropriate relation to the world. By linking current debates around art and aesthetic practice to the ideas of important thinkers of the aesthetic revolution that took place at the turn of the 19th century, Olma searches for the contours of a timely configuration of autonomy and Weltbezug.

He finds them in what he calls an aesthetic of performative defiance. It is an aesthetic that is performative in the sense of absorbing and moving along with the becoming of the world and defiant in its rejection of the temptations of linearity and calculability. He argues that an aesthetic of performative defiance is required today in order to ensure the evolution of our collective sense organs: artists need to be able to push them into whatever direction they damn well please.

Read the pdf (log in to Academia.edu is required)

A shortened version of this essay was delivered as a lecture on the occasion of the inauguration of Professor Sebastian Olma on 18 November 2016 at Avans University of Applied Sciences, Breda, the Netherlands.

The printed version of the book can be ordered via: secretariaat.ekv@avans.nl
You will be invoiced for postage and handling.

EKV – Aesthetics in the Wild – digital publication

maart 6, 2017


Aesthetics in the Wild: Art and Design Practices and Pedagogies After the Situated Turn

Author: Michel van Dartel

Humans are inseparable from the world around them. Yet remarkably, time and again, human-oriented research and development treats them as isolated from their surroundings. This is particularly true in the domains of art and design, where convention has it that work is produced in studios and experienced in the sterile environs of art and design venues.

How can we expect art and design to forge meaningful connections to the world when they consistently treat artists, designers, audiences and users as if they were separate from it?

In this essay, Michel van Dartel shows that the stakes involved in this isolation are higher than they may appear at first glance. As we live in cities developed around data and act within the inscrutable structure of the present-day economy, there exists an unprecedentedly urgent need for artists and designers to help us understand how we relate to our surroundings.

Connecting ideas from fields ranging from cognitive science to avant-garde art and design history, Van Dartel argues that we need to consider aesthetics “in the wild” if we are to respond to this exigency.

Read the pdf (log in to Academia.edu is required)

A shortened version of this essay was delivered as a lecture on the occasion of the inauguration of Professor Michel van Dartel on 18 November 2016 at Avans University of Applied Sciences, Breda, the Netherlands.

The printed version of the book can be ordered via: secretariaat.ekv@avans.nl
You will be invoiced for postage and handling.

EKV related – Not OK computer

januari 16, 2017

Sunday Times, 08.01.2017 – CULTURE SECTION

by Bryan Appleyard

The web is stifling originality and eroding our sense of self. As the artistic backlash against Silicon Valley gathers pace, are we doomed to cybergeddon?

A small clipping from the article:

„ …. Amid all this, another squib has exploded, a curious­ little book called In Defence of Serendipity: For a Radical Politics of Innovation, by Sebastian Olma, a Dutch writer, critic and professor of Autonomy in Art and Design at Avans University. This is not one argument, it is many, but at its centre is the conviction that the internet is actually working against innovation and originality. Instead, it is promoting what the activist Naomi Klein has called “changeless change”, as giant companies dazzle us with their same-again gadgets to preserve a corporate status quo. Why, when you think about it, would they do otherwise? Committed to a management theory of disruption, they strive to disrupt everything except themselves.

This corporate stasis has cultural symptoms. Olma quotes the philosopher Mark Fisher on the way pop music seems to be frozen in time. “Imagine any record released in the past couple of years being beamed back in time to, say, 1995 and played on the radio. It’s hard to think it will produce any jolt in the listeners… While 20th-century experimental culture was seized by a recombinatorial delirium, which made it feel as if newness was infinitely available, the 21st century is oppressed by a crushing sense of finitude and exhaustion. It doesn’t feel like the future.”
Read the full article