Conference Paper

Setting the Stage for Something New

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Using events creating change in organizations or setting the stage for new ideas, structures, and organizational identity is still barely explored and underrepresented as organizational practice (ao. Mirvis et al,. 2003). In particular, in situations of liminality cultures use different rituals to express and make the changeover possible (Gennep, 1909; Turner, 1989; Alexander, 2004). Especially arts, art events or artistic projects seem to have a great potential to state a new beginning, intialize innovative ideas, and allow to reflect the organizational identity (Barry & Meisiek 2010; Schnugg 2010). A demonstration of the organizational identity via the arts means showing it through a different language and is so intitiating examination of the own and the organizational identity (Simon, 2007). Further, arts are not conventional means within organizations what makes them remarkable "happenings", stimulating different senses – it is not just a verbal description of cognitive contents, what makes such events remarkable, holistic experiences. The key questions are to analyze the potential and limitations of arts in events of change/situations of liminality and what the position of the artist within such events is.

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This is a chapter of my book "Creating ArtScience Collaboration - Bringing Value to Organizations" Find the book here: Artists and scientists like to refer to artscience collaboration to a space for exploration and experiments that is not bound to other organizational restrictions or where they can talk freely about unique ideas. The formats of artscience collaboration often are not bound to organizational structures; these projects are neither part of routines nor are they standard projects. They break formal structures and open up spaces for learning and idea development without predefined rules, for example, like interaction structures or scientific, corporate, and artistic goals. Such spaces can be used individually for personal development, exploration, creation of experimental work, playful testing of new ideas, and much more, without being bound to former rules, hierarchies, or evaluation by peers. In anthropology these states have first been named as “liminal”, spaces on a threshold and in-between (Van Gennep 1909; Turner 1966). Such space is not always constructed and signified by physical room, but by social practice. Liminal spaces are rather cognitive and experiential phases to break out from the “normal” spaces of routine life.
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