Thursday, April 26, 2012

"Corporate Performance Art"

Naomi Klein's No Logo addresses the issues of corporate structure in regards to the development of brand identities and their rise to power. This reading raises a lot of interesting points but one of particular interest to me was mention of "corporate performance art." (Klein, 4*) In never ending attempts to expand their horizons, brands have infiltrated almost every facet of daily life; from envelopes to takeout containers no surface is safe from iconic imagery and often overt ad campaigns. Now this poison is seeping into the art world. But what exactly does this entail? Brands have been incorporated into artistic expressions for the last century, but primarily in a mocking, thought provoking nature that often reflects the problems of corporate entities.  So what does “corporate performance art” look like specifically? What role does the artist play in developing brand image? Would this role enable the artist with any real power or would they act merely as a figure head for a corporate entity? Would that not commodify the art object even further? In proposing corporate performance art, Klein uses the Pink Mattel Neighborhood as an example of artistic expression fused with corporate branding. Another project that comes to mind is NBC’s Artist in Residence program which featured Bon Jovi as its first corporately commissioned artists, performing on practically every NBC series during a two month stretch. (See attached article) Although Bon Jovi may be an kitsch interpretation of art (at least in my opinion), does this foreshadow a deeper integration of corporate agenda into the realm of fine art?

Please Post any related examples!!! (I know there are better ones than Bon Jovi…)

*the page numbers referred to here reflect a printed version of an online draft. These numbers are then subject to change dependent upon reproduction type...

1 comment:

  1. As a Performance Artist (I trained at the first Summer Institute at the Kitchen in 1999) and Marketer, this subject has been of great interest to me in my business. In fact, I named my company Corporate Performance Artists ( Performance has become a key term that in turns applies to experimental art, worker productivity, and functionality of technical, corporate, and military systems. Extrapolating from the purist corporatist bent, when we call Performance artistic, it references a cultural production that is meaningful and has definable roles in relation to the subjects of experience. Within a corporate context, Performance as artistic must be expressive within the experimental art domain, but also address issues of productivity, repeatability, and functionality.