The demands for self-determination and participation that were so much to the fore in the 60s and 70s are now being heard again in Western societies. But taking control of oneself and one's circumstances is scarcely a political Utopia any more, it is an economic obligation and a condition of the consumer society and its goods production. Creativity and the ability to manage oneself have already been identified as essential for survival in the contemporary labour market. Marketing one's own "work-power" effectively, using leisure time and temporary employment efficiently or making oneself completely independent have become the social norm in Switzerland as well. So it makes sense to present the professions of artist and designer as key contemporary work situations: they seem to be permeated with the notion of linking life and work together, and this can make them productive. And the concept of "Creative Industry" also increasingly includes a location policy perspective - Berlin or London, for example: the image patterns and products there, and also the (sub-)cultural lifestyles of the designers based in those cities, represent a crucial resource for the world-wide marketing of consumer goods. The Be Creative! exhibition project explores this historical shift from self-creation as a Utopia to self-creation as a social obligation, using various developments in the design discourse and in everyday practice. A parallel series of events will provide a critical analysis of the premises of Cultural Studies, bricolage and cultural codes cracked by consumerism, against the background of global economic connections. The project was developed as a co-operative venture between the Institut für Theorie der Gestaltung und Kunst with the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich and the //D/O/C/K/ project by the Galerie der Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig. So the project is based on an a key piece of ith research on the significance of the visual in a knowledge society, and as well as this the exhibition concept is being developed by two project groups in Zurich and Leipzig made up of students from the respective institutions and specially invited designers and artists. A joint publication is planned to conclude the project.
Be Creative! - Der kreative Imperativ, Museum für Gestaltung Zürich/Marion von Osten, Peter Spillmann (Hg.), 48 Seiten, 2002, Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, ISBN 978-3-908065-97-6