ZERO1 Garage: An inside look
October 27 marked the kick-off of the ZERO1 Garage, where principles of artistic creativity will be applied to real world innovation challenges. The buzz among the 40 participants – who included art world professionals, business leaders, tech entrepreneurs, and policy makers – was at high pitch. Seated at four round tables, attention quickly turned to opening remarks from Joel Slayton, ZERO1’s executive director.
I want you to imagine:
- The largest and most prestigious contemporary art Biennial in North America at the intersection of art and technology: a Silicon Valley Biennial.
- Imagine a robust network of regional, national, and international partners from the cultural, corporate, and academic sectors working together to leverage expertise and resources creating a “there there” for Silicon Valley.
- Envision what is possible when disciplines rub up against each another: Artists, Designers, Architects, Technologist, Scientist, Educators, and Entrepreneurs working together to change the world.
- Close your eyes tighter.
- Now imagine a complimentary platform…..a place, a community, a network for radical experimentation.
- Part think tank, part incubator, part research lab.
- A place where the principles of artistic creativity are applied to real world innovation challenges.
- Open your eyes… Welcome to the ZERO1 Garage.
Next Harry Saal, ZERO1’s new board chair and new media artist Scott Snibbe talked about the relationship of art to innovation. Among the many insights was Scott’s comment that “almost all art is failure and therefore artists are ideal risk-takers; pushing-boundaries and experts at experimentation.” The comment recognized that creativity is not an end in itself, but rather a process that shapes the relationship between risk and failure.
Primed by the talk, the four groups were challenged to answer the following:
- What are the essential characteristics of risk-taking and risk-takers?
- What innovation challenges do you believe art can provoke new strategies for and solutions to?
- What is possible for the ZERO1 Garage as a place, a network, and community for radical risk-taking?
The answers were robust and wide-ranging; too many to share here. Suffice it to say that people were galvanized by the discussions and ready to help move the vision of the Garage forward.