AoMO2024 Nancy, France (21st-24th August 2024)

The 11th Art of Management & Organization Conference theme is ‘Total Art: Arts Nouveaux for Sustainable Futures?’

Hosted by ICN Creactive Business School

Since 2002, the aim of this conference series has been to explore and promote the arts as a means of understanding management and organization. On one hand, artists inspire the business world, in the best case with artistic interventions and new discourses. But the impression persists that art does not go beyond the level of an aesthetic activity which is merely consumed in organizations. At its best, art holds up a critical mirror that shocks the organization into some kind of specific change. But does art ever change business as usual?

 AoMO 2024 wants to approach management and organization from a Total Art perspective –  art as an attitude, philosophy and guiding principle which should enable sustainable futures. Total Art strongly resonates with trans-disciplinarity but gains its strength in action and doing. Correspondingly, we want to take philosophies of action, of sensation, of embodiment and of objects into consideration, as they have been revisited in philosophies of the late 20th & early 21st centuries. In combination with Total Art these philosophies inspire The Art of Management & Organization Conference in Nancy.

Art is emotion … provocation … confrontation … protest … disruption … politics … activism

… departure … development … reflection … transformation.

We need art in all these manifestations for sustainable futures. Art could be the gamechanger for organizations trying to make serious changes as we struggle to rethink our way of relating to the natural world of the planet, the climate, resources and other species  that coexist upon it.  New ways of being will depend upon new ways of seeing, and such  perspectives are only possible if management and organization make a combined use of multiple art forms and processes.

Total Art (art totale or Gesamtkunstwerk)and particularly relevant for sustainable futures, Art Nouveau is an international style of art, architecture, and design with Nancy as one of its capitals. In 1901, the Alliance Provinciale des Industries d’Art, also known as the École de Nancy, was founded, with the aim of upsetting the hierarchy that puts architecture, painting and sculpture above the decorative arts. The major artists working in Nancy included the glass vase and lamp creator Émile Gallé, the Daum brothers in glass design, and the designer Louis Majorelle who created furniture with graceful floral and vegetal forms. The architect Henri Sauvage brought the new architectural style to Nancy with his Villa Majorelle in 1902. To use a modern term, all these artists could be regarded also as entrepreneurs running organizations which makes Art Nouveau more than just a traditional art movement.

Art Nouveau was a reaction against academic art, eclecticism and historicism of 19th century architecture and decoration. The revolutionary approach was to break down the traditional distinction between arts, architecture and design, and develop a holistic understanding on the search for Total Art. Art Nouveau was inspired by natural forms, dynamism, asymmetry, and the use of modern materials, therefore synergistically combining art, nature and technology. Its political purpose was to address anyone and escaping the elitist audiences, issuing series production rather than unique originals, incorporating the industrial techniques into the art world, creating total environments and atmospheres. This makes Art Nouveau as Total Art more contemporary than ever as an inspiration for “Arts Nouveaux” for Sustainable Futures in management and organizations. “Arts Nouveaux” correspond with the disruptive thinking of “curating capitalism” (Guillet de Monthoux forthcoming) which proposes new forms of value by creating art environments and atmospheres in organizations and curatorial qualities as new organizational skills.

(Pierre Guillet de Monthoux, Curating Capitalism: How Art Impacts Business, Management, and Economy. Strenberg press, forthcoming.)

Total Art has enjoyed canonical status in aesthetic theory since the late 20th century. For sustainable futures, one movement of Total Art is a springboard for the conference: Art Nouveau. It is an international style of art, architecture, and design with Nancy as one of its capitals. In a nutshell, Total Art: Arts Nouveaux for Sustainable Futures in Nancy means…

* Let’s break down our traditional distinctions of disciplines!

* Let’s incorporate art into every management and organizational process!

* Let’s turn organizations into Total Art!

* Let’s develop our “Arts Nouveaux” for Sustainable Futures!

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