Sonntag, 2. Juni 2013

Creativity by Community

Perry Chen

Perry Chen and Theaster Gates in Conversation

At first glance, an Internet entrepreneur and an artist seem to operate in different creative spheres. Yet Perry Chen, the co-founder and C.E.O. of the crowd-funding Web site Kickstarter, and Theaster Gates, a Chicago art star-cum-urban planner, actually think they have a lot in common. Kickstarter began in 2009, and since then the site has raised more than $500 million for 40,000 projects — from Iraq war documentaries to Brooklyn restaurants — revolutionizing the way creative ideas are financed in the digital age. Theaster Gates’s artistic practice, which encompasses everything from sculpture to a roving choir, is in its way just as groundbreaking. On his own block on the South Side of Chicago, Gates has engineered a miniature urban utopia, turning the once-blighted buildings that surround him into artist residencies, a library and even a cinema house that shows works by aspiring filmmakers from the neighborhood. Both Gates’s and Chen’s work may inspire social change, but it’s the power of creativity, not of compassion, that spurs them from one genre-defying innovation to the next.

Theaster Gates

Theaster Gates: I remember not long after we met, we were in Davos, Switzerland, and everyone from presidents on down wanted an audience with you, this 36-year-old punk kid, because you had created something that was important — a platform that could be more democratic and more immediately generous than the National Endowment for the Arts, or the disbursements of a European nation. It was wonderful to watch people stand in line. I thought, Wow, artists or creative people can have significant consequences in the world.

These interventions that we imagine to simply support our community could be the most important and most prolific inventions in the world. View Full Conversation at T Magazine
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