Diagram of Innovation
Invitation Witte de With:
What is “innovation” and what does it mean to innovate within the context of art, design, and education? What are the preconditions for innovative methods to exist? And can we locate current social, (geo-)political and economical conditions that might form, or even necessitate, an “innovative” artistic or design methodology within the near-future? These are the central questions explored by the second year students of the Honours Community, Willem de Kooning Academy.
The aim of the course is not so much to articulate a definition of innovation, as it aims to analyse the manner in which it occurs, how the process can be adapted and used by the students to produce work that is fitting to current societal issues. The six week-long running course culminates in the production of a ‘diagram of innovation’, containing the theoretical and philosophical considerations that were collectively discussed as a result of the lectures, collective slow readings and workshops.
In a time where everything goes by fast, time runs and flows over. Sometimes we need to take a step back to be able to move forward. When is it when we have that moment of consciousness? When do we know when the direction can or has to change? When does innovation occur? The temporality of innovation permits for the constant process, dialogue, experimentation, combination and reapplication. A problem or necessity is always responded to, pushing the boundaries of knowledge. Innovation happens through collision of underlying structures, circumstances and predetermined events.
The diagram illustrates infinite action and reaction, with some degree of certainty and uncertainty. The entanglement of time and historical subjects accelerate to a point where necessity causes a collision. A shift in the axis of the status quo is the reaction of the convergence of that entanglement. It is a looping diagram, where the next innovation stems from the shifted axis.
“[the diagram] plays a piloting role. The diagrammatic or abstract machine does not function to represent, even something real, but rather constructs a real that is yet to come, a new type of reality.”
- A Thousand Plateaus, Gilles Deleuze & Félix Gauttari