Dirk Dobiéy

Making mistakes is a concept that does not exist in the arts

Professor Michael Brater on taking detours and the love of experimentation in the arts and business.

In an interview with Age of Artists, education research expert Michael Brater explains how mistakes cannot exist in the area of arts. He has recognized what artists share as a fundamental attitude: “It does not matter if something happens that I did not intend. The question is how I can deal with it. It is only going to be an error if I cannot handle it.” The most interesting thing is the experimental “playing”, says Brater. To promote a childlike, inquiring attitude opens up new ways: “I dealt with the interesting question how artists act who have no clear reference point and no defined destination. The artists wanted to create something vague, such as a plastic, but that’s not a goal towards which they can organise their resources. Instead, the target is being created in the process. This is a crucial distinction! I do not have to have the goal first and then organise my processes. I rather just start; I can look at how the goal comes into being, I can finally perceive what has been created without me wanting it to be there from the outset. I can try things, I play with with them and see what is possible and find a path and suddenly I see the direction in which this could go. This is the creative element.” Since the 1980s, Michael Brater has been directing his research towards the point where art and business meet: “I think the importance and possibilities are not being put to use at all. […] Those who find themselves in a position where they can reduce the distance between both worlds are up to a truly important task.” Economy and society can benefit from the fresh input this approach will generate: “Once released from the cage of rationality, man can go astray, and take things back. Things do not have to be spot-on right away. Taking a detour lets you know more about a place.” At first glance, such detours appear like waste, says Brater and continues: from a distance, however, you recognise that they provide orientation and thus increase the quality of a solution. Nor forgetting the experience of going wrong is what matters.”

In the interview, you will learn which companies have already successfully embarked on an artistic strategy and understand which challenges they met along the way.

The complete interview with Michael Brater in German language


Text by Dirk Dobiéy.
The interview was conducted by Dirk Dobiéy on 31/10/2014.
Image source: Michael Brater.

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