Fighting Creative Illiteracy
Illiteracy with regard to art and creativity damages a society to the same extent as illiteracy regarding the written word. Today, specialization, productivity and efficiency have become the predominant aspirations, not just with regard to industrial production, but also with growing intensity and speed in the sciences. Universities have been forced to look first at evaluation figures instead of values and content. Quantification and rankings based on quantitative indicators are the main topics in higher education policy. However, history shows clearly how the power of science and the arts can multiply when the two enter into a constructive exchange in awareness of both their own strengths and identity, but also of the synergetic potential for social effects above and beyond citation indices and artistic market rankings. Innovation is increasingly becoming the new no.1 political slogan but is meant mainly as a cure for the economy.
Knowledge is not only growing in volume, but is also playing an ever-greater role in the development of our societies. In the meantime, the expansion of knowledge per se has become somewhat more of a problem rather than a solution. Without a sufficient number of functional knowledge synapses, irrespective of their height, the know-how towers remain isolated and self-referencing. Now the task is to further expand the canon of cultural techniques by the addition of creative skills.
In the post-industrial societies creativity should replace shareholder value as the guiding societal value. Creative literacy has to be spread throughout the entire society. Quantification bust be banished as an inappropriate scale for assessing universities. The educational system and social life must be infiltrated and penetrated with the arts. Teaching, learning, research and dissemination of art and science need to be reconnected again. An innovation society has to focus on educating specialists in de-fragmentation.