The Role of the Arts in the Digital Transformation

Ana Alacovska, Peter Booth, Christian Fieseler

Research output: Book/ReportReportResearch

Abstract

The following report is part of a project entitled ‘Mobilising the Arts for an Inclusive Digital Transformation’ (hereafter referred to as Artsformation), funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. In this project we are investigating the potential of the arts to help transform our society to become more inclusive and sustainable in the context of a digitalized future. The ultimate aim is to develop arts-based methods capable of bringing together technologists, policymakers and stakeholders to deliberate on feasible ways of creating and implementing new technologies and business models. The initial stage of this project involves a set of three literature reviews of the state of research on the following core topics related to the arts and digital transformation: the transformative potential of the arts and artists (this report); the interplay between the arts and enterprises (O’Dea, Alacovska, & Fieseler, 2020); and the socially engaged arts that give voice to stakeholder interests and needs (Andersen, Renza, Fieseler, Papadopoulos, & McDermott, 2020). The current study proceeds with some preliminary thoughts on how the arts may instil or impede change for better or for worse, drawing parallels from previous thinking on transformation achieved through the arts with the current set of challenges our society faces as part of ongoing digital transformation. We propose a set of four interrelated mechanisms through which the arts are intertwined with processes of change, finding that the arts foster empathy and a notion of care while radically empowering imagination and bestowing capabilities to act on change. We then proceed to discuss these mechanisms in the light of digital transformation and put forward a set of proposals regarding the agency of the arts. These proposals will be empirically validated and leveraged in the subsequent field work and innovation phases of the project. This overview will conclude with some key findings as well as an outlook on critical questions for future research on the potential of the arts for empowering positive change in the context of digital transformation.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOslo
PublisherArtsformation
Number of pages48
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020
SeriesArtsformation Report Series

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