Art and culture

The 12 basic needs


The essence of art is translating the world of ideas into reality. In all kinds of expression: in cooking, education, architecture, industrial design, but also in social art: shaping social structures, organizations, social contracts. Art is the world of the metamorphosis from pictures into sculptures. Art is part of our daily life! In everything we think about, talk about and decide about there is a process which is art in itself. How can we switch from one thought to another, one argument to another, one phase in our life towards the next? We call it the art of philosophy, the art of debate, and the Art of Living! But we also know the art of cooking, the art of designing a building, car or every other possible industrial product. Arts as painting and sculpting are called “free” expressions. But they are very interrelated because when sculpting the clay we can experience how it is to sculpt an industrial product or a social management structure between people working together, or a new consumerlaw. “Everybody is an Artist” was the famous slogan of Joseph Beuys (1921-1986). His book – see below – about the essence of art is a must for thinking about art in all 360 degrees of our horizon!

Art as a process

From mathematics – especially projective geometry – we can learn how all forms of art are connectors of two worlds. All the ideas come from the world of thinking, planning, making blueprints. Art is the bridge between idea and reality, between spiritual world and material world. And the better we manage to express those ideas in reality, in products, designs, compositions, social structures or in pieces of free expression, the more we talk about “beauty” when it is succesfull. But we also know that the process itself can be very difficult building those bridges from mind to matter. Creative processes are always between all kinds of polarities: light and dark, future vs the past (innovation vs old structures), male / female, east-west and north-south globalization, open social structures vs old hierarchy, etc etc.

In mathematics polarity is the fifth dimension after the three dimensions of space and the fourth called time. In simplified words: when we move for instance a threedimensional (3) cube in time (4) from here to infinity and back we can experience what polarity (5) is. And then we recognise directly that the sixth dimension is individuality (6) because somewhere on that bridge we can make our individual choises in full freedom! Making free choises after seeing all possible options! That’s art! Projective geometry as counterpart of the old geometry gives us the opportunity to draw these polarities of infinite line and point – and all curves in between. For instance where we were accustomed to draw a circle from inside out, one can also construct the circle from outside (infinity) inwards with the help of tangents. We can see these tangents as “figure-games” between television progarms or in modern organic architecture.

Art and education

In fact every smallest piece of the cosmos is a piece of art in itself! Every molecule, cristal, plant, building landscape or organizationscheme of a company has been designed one way or another. Hairstyle, cooking, or the interior of a house. And as we can see the shape of a cristal, we can feel the sphere of an interior, and experience the efficiency of an organizationscheme. Meeting the art around us through head heart and hands! To be creative ourself we have to learn all kinds of art during education first. From the very basics of drawing straight and curved lines, or from the seven basic colours, then only then we can develop our creativeness allround. Then everything we undertake in life is not only a craft but an Art as well! For the best possible solutions in every situation or design.

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02 202402 February 2004

News february 2024

The Art of Revolution: From Roel van Duijn to Greta Thunberg

Last month Roel van Duijn was interviewed plus discussion afterwards about the developments worldwide
since the revolution he started in 1966 on social equality, sustainability (white bikes!) and more creativity
towards the future we want. In 1968 the student revolutions in Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin and Prague were
about the same issues. And even nowadays all kinds of protest are about the same urgent questions about
our world and our society. The turning points at the Berlin Wall in 1989, the Twin Towers in 2001, the Occupy
Wallstreet events and last but not least Greta Thunberg at the UN in New York. Many outcries on humanity
to think about all aspects in production and consumption. Protesting against production and politics but in fact
an appeal towards us consumers to change our lifestyles! Consumer governance education in the making! 
PS: Why did so many consumer organizations started in the Netherlands? Amsterdam was and is geographically
part of the doorstep of the river Rhine, where all the European goods and people started their voyages towards
the ends of the world. Since the 17th century Amsterdam was the basis for the East India Company (VOC), the
first stock exchange. In the 20th century the basis for Consumers International, World Fair Trade, True Price,
Global Reporting Initiative. And our Consumer360Academy! Based on the 60 page book Consumer Freedom
and Responsibility – Towards the 21st Century (Daub 1998). 
Amsterdam is still a hotspot in the world for innovative projects and organizations, for discussions about the
future we want, for worldwide dialogues about every aspect of consumer governance, sustainability and the
SDG’s. But there is still a lot to be done!
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Roel van Duijn (Wikipedia)

02 202302 Februari 2023

FEBRUARI 2023 Consumer360 ACADEMY

Creativity – Creating the Future we Want

Creativity is not only the basis for all the arts, but also the basis for design in architecture, industrial design, food and haute couture! And even in marketing, diplomacy conflict management and last but not least in warfare!
The famous book The art of War written by  Sun Zu in China around 600 BC is used through the ages not only by many warlords and generals, but also by managers in business and marketing today! But creativity is most actual today in the slogans about The Future We Want! Creativity in the most positive way!
This year the world started with many initiatives of creative thinking: repair climate change, biodiversity, better healthcare and working towards true price and true income. Including better management of the chains in trade from farm to fork (ISO 26000 and ISO 20400).
But sustainable development is not an easy job! It needs a lot of research and talking and trying. But especially a creative way in which we look through the world, recognize essential details and last but not least combining all our knowledge and experiences into the most complete picture and plan! If it looks good and beautiful – then it is ok! Then our projects will become “works of art”.
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02 202103 March 2021

Everyone is an Artist – Joseph Beuys 100

Worldwide expositions on Joseph Beuys are now extra remarkable in a time of crises and new developments! Beuys worked lifelong on all issues about creativity of the human being, about creative thinking and arguing, and about creative organizations. Social Arts as the highest form of art itself! Especially the exposition in Barcelona Spain (26/2 – 23/5) is highly interesting already because of the title: Radical Teaching, Direct Democracy, Social Sculptures. To learn about Beuys, his thoughts and his sculptures and works of art is far from easy but more than worth trying! To express non-materialistic issues in materialistic compositions is art on the highest level.

Understanding globalization, consumer-producer relations, processing from farm to fork and the essence of (consumer)education, communication and governance are difficult to explain too when we want to express all the relations between people, materials and processes, between trade and transport, and consumption in the end. Shelley Sacks from Oxford University for instance worked with Beuys and made an expression made of 10.000 bananas to show the world connections between farmers in America and consumers worldwide. Art can be more impressing than any other explanation of economic, social and cultural relations between people. About consumer governance, government governance and corporate governance. Not the Art of War (Sun Tzu) of modern capitalist economies but the Art of Association and Cooperation between consumers and producers, trade, banking and money. Art as a basic tool for consumer governance and financial literacy. Basis for true prices and true incomes. Basis for sustainability and responsible lifestyles! Basis for consumer education!

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02 200901 January 2009

I like America and America likes me
Joseph Beuys / Coyote New York 1974

We are the revolution! Everybody is an artist!

This month the great exposition “WE are the Revolution” of the greatest 20th century artist Joseph Beuys came to an end. Visitors from all over the world came to Berlin to meet the inner world of the cultural creatives, where the other half of the world still believes this year with Darwin that all reality is build up not by action but by accident!

Comment of a visitor from Paris, where after America the great Revolution took place in 1789: “It seems to me that there is no better time than the present for a major Beuys retrospective. His art was a reaction to the excesses of conspicuous consumption that dominated Western Culture. The contrast provided by the Jeff Koons (ghost of Walt Disney) exhibition could not be more appropriate. His giant artless creations are a product of and footnote to the end of an epoch”.

International Herald Tribune January 12 / Posted by: Bernard, Paris France.

Professor Joseph Beuys’ most important work was to teach that we have to be creative ourselves, to use our freedom to create a world of transparency, democracy and sustainability. To research how the economy works, how mind and matter are two sides of every creative process, and how we can discover all the laws of the natural and social and spiritual worlds to make the best of all social sculptures i.e. organizations for living together on the same planet. He called it “Soziale Plastik” and used all kinds of materials to educate in the basic artistic laws of light, warmth and force as stepstones not only in chemistry but also in social reality. And especially now where the whole world is thinking about new ways in financing, foodsupply, sustainability etc etc all creativity is needed to find the best ways forward.

There were also two great conferences in Belgium this month about consuming and economic growth. In Antwerpen about the Turning Point (Omslag) and in Brussels about “Beyond GDP” talking about new ways of measuring the quality of life. Especially the way they try to do so in the small Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is interesting where they call it the Gross National Happiness to be measured (as far as quality can be measured).

Of course happiness is in the first place the way we manage to be creative in creating our own life. Secondly how we respect each other to be able to do so (a reasonable income is a right). And third how far we reach to do so in a sustainable way and with a high quality of life. Then “WE are the revolution” is exact the right description of the human being entering the 21st century of maturity.

And when in former centuries they were able to call us brave new apes, dummies or marketing-targets, from now on we are all co-creators! Every year listening to each other, talking and planning at the World Social Forum, this month in the middle of the Amazon area between all the other species and all newly dicovered apes: in the city of Belem. Another World IS Possible. But only when we as consumer/citizens ask the right questions we can expect to get the right products and the right services!

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02 200706 June 2007

“Exchange Values”

Invisible Producers Made Visible 

In a globalized economy only our own imagination can make consumers and producers to a real experience. Two interesting presentations are trying to make us aware of our own responsibility to “see” our worldwide neighbours as consumers and/or producers.

Shelly Sacks, professor at the Oxford Brooks University presents an artistic social sculpture of dried bananas combined with production numbers to make visible for us consumers the producers of bananas on the Windward Islands. See or ISBN 978-3-928780-66-7 Exchange Values – Images of invisible Lives or at the exposition untill August in the Goetheanum, Dornach Switzerland.

Best business book of the year is published by Professor C K Prahalad about the greatest yet invisible market opportunities in the 21st century: the 4 billion other consumers in the world! The Fortune of the Bottom of the Pyramid ISBN 9780131877290.

02 200611 November 2006

Another World is Possible! Everybody is Creative!

This is what Joseph Beuys (1921-1986), the most famous modern artist of the 20th century, already said over and over again. Until February 2007 there is now a great exibition in Moyland Castle / Germany about the materials he used to explain all unvisible things. Social relations, thoughts, feelings, and world tendencies in economical, social and spiritual human behaviour can be made visible by all kinds of materials to symbolise and wake up conciousness and will to change. Solutions are always creative actions and everybody is creative him/herself to do something to help to make a better world (Jeder Mensch ein Kunstler! Everybody is an Artist!). And all those possible other worlds can be discussed January 20-25 in Nairobi Kenya during the next World Social Forum! And to get an even better look around what’s going on around the world you can also login on the new worldwide televisionchannel which is totally financed by the viewers only: the Independent World Television IWT starts with an interview with Naomo Klein! So we can all start the year 2007 with many new tools for our heads, hearts and hands!

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Wikipedia Joseph Beuys