Lecture series The Creative Imperative

Lectures The Creative Imperative
Artist & Philosopher Henry Flynt during lecture 'From Culture to Veramusement', NYC 1963. Photo Diane Wakoski. Courtesy Henry Flynt.
The CLUE+ research theme 'Paradigms of Creativity' will be officially inaugurated by means of a lecture series presented in cooperation with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
On three evenings in fall 2015, we have invited scholars and practitioners from different disciplines to discuss the notion of creativity against the backdrop of current developments in art, society, and technology.

Now, approximately five years after the peak of the global financial crisis and the budgetary cutbacks by the Dutch government in the cultural field, it is time to critically examine the consequences for creative practice and artistic production. These financial limitations have not just narrowed the space for autonomous work. In addition to cutting back funding for both cultural institutions and universities, the government developed a program to stimulate research and innovation by identifying 9 'top sectors'.

When the arts find themselves represented in one of these sectors, if at all, it is usually under the 'creative industries', which, according to the government, is “the most dynamic sector of the Dutch economy” and also includes the fields of design, media, entertainment, fashion, gaming, and architecture. While this high valorization of creativity within a society might sound encouraging at first sight, its economic motivations are both obvious and debatable.

To provide better insight into the diverging expectations and apprehensions connected to concepts and practices of creativity and artistic production, this lecture series aims to scrutinize what such practices in the 20th and 21st century actually entail, questioning the idea of creativity as a kind of ingenious, self-fulfilling creatio ex nihilo, disconnected from societal preconditions.

It explores relations between human and mechanical production, the manifold interdependencies of artistic practices, the globalized cultural systems, mass culture, and art-historical attempts of codification, as well as artistic reflections on paradigms of authenticity and innovation.

Concept and Organisation
Dr. Katja Kwastek
Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History and program coordinator Paradigms of Creativity

Dr. Sven Lütticken
Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History and coordinator of Research Master VAMA – Critical Issues in Art & Culture


  • Creative mind vs. Creative industries, 10 September 2015
  • Commodification & ‘Entkunstung’, 8 October 2015
  • Creativity in the readymade century, 12 November 2015