Home Editorial : Beauty will save the world

GEAB 165

The monthly bulletin of LEAP (European Laboratory of Political Anticipation) - 15 May 2022

Editorial : Beauty will save the world

This issue 165 is an important step in the history of the GEAB as it breaks with the sacrosanct tradition of anonymity of the articles, until now always collectively signed by the “LEAP team”. In this world-after which is moving in all directions, we feel that a publication on the future should now include a greater diversity of points of view. So, we are inaugurating the “multi-author GEAB” on a magnificent theme, Art, written by a great professional in this sector, Isabelle Kowal.

There are not a lot of good news to share about the future at the moment. But as the GEAB does not like to be in tune with everyone’s fears, this GEAB will talk a lot about Art… more prosaically about the “art market”. First of all, because Art and the Art market are both in the process of transformation, like everything else, but also because Art seems to be one of the rare safe havens in a crisis where neither the dollar, nor gold, nor bitcoin, nor real estate appear to be truly reassuring refuges.

This is no coincidence (or haz’Art). Everyone is now realising that the dreams projected by prospective thinking on the basis of obsessive observation of “new technologies” as the only data for imagining the future (as if the future were a hard, non-human science) will not all come true[1]. New technologies certainly contribute to the global paradigm shift, but on the one hand they are in fact only the fruit of the imperative of change linked to the global demographic resizing and, on the other hand, they will have to find their way in a complex social reality that is naturally resistant to change.

All this leads to the civilisational crisis that the GEAB has been describing for the last 16 years. A crisis which, at this stage, consists of a complete loss of reference points: the world of before is gone, but the world of after is not really what we had imagined. This kind of period is conducive to existential questioning, which naturally leads to religion, philosophy and, of course, art.

The rethinking of all the fundamentals of a society provides an immense space for creative artistic imagination where the principles and values of the next model will be invented. The time is ripe for new aesthetic forms, the identification of which is currently stumbling over the two classic pitfalls: speculation and institutionalism, both conservative in their own way.

The big investors aim for profit, and count on their financial power to “create success” which may prove ephemeral and contribute to bubble phenomena, while the institutionalists are driven by social/moral aspects, and value a “committed art” (talking about societal problems or helping disadvantaged categories) that moves away from the objectivity required to spot the real forms of the future.

We will see in Isabelle Kowal’s article that these two categories are currently tending to divide the art market more and more. This is both bad news and good news, since it is probably in the space between these two biases that sustainable forms will emerge, conducive to investment by small “intelligent” players of the future.

The art market is therefore an investment sector that is both promising and fraught with pitfalls, and the systemic view of anticipation can help to shed new light on this: the clearer the vision of the future, the smarter our bets on the art of tomorrow. But as always in anticipation, it is also intuition, as long as it is well-informed, that is the best guide: let Art simply begin to get to your heart again!

Join the GEAB Community on LinkedIn for more discussions on this topic.


[1]      We even asked this important question in a previous issue: “Has the West got its future wrong?” Source : GEAB 160, 15/12/2021


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