We are happy to announce the seminar Culture 3.0: Prosuming the Art Academy. Come and join us in the discussion on the digital revolution and its impact on art and design practices. We invited four experts from the field of art criticism and curating, media theory and art and design: Robert Hewison, Bas van Beek, Theo Ploeg and David Jablonowski.

Culture 3.0: Prosuming the Art Academy is organized by the research group of the Lectorate Art Theory & Practice at the University of the Arts The Hague. RSVP before 13/3/2015:

Since the beginning of the 21st century digitization seems to stimulate ‘home made creativity’. The tools and possibilities for production are easily available to almost everybody. However, the digital gate keepers of the digital world are the real owners of these creative products, as they control distribution and access.

On this day we will look at the impact of digital culture on ‘making’ and investigate its significance for art education. Three urgent questions will be addressed:

• How can we teach students to become prosumers?
• What are the implications of digital culture for the experience of sensuousness? And for the artistic process of making and its outcome?
• How can we teach students to develop a critical position towards Culture 3.0? What could a critical art and design practice look like in Culture 3.0

  • Robert Hewison (UK, 1943) - Creating the Creative Industries: the British experience and its challenges
  • Bas van Beek (NL, 1974) - The Multiple Personality Disorder of the Designer
  • Theo Ploeg (NL,1969) - Design(ing) (for) the New World
  • David Jablonowski (DE, 1982) - Stone Carving High Performance

Pierluigi Sacco, professor in economics and culture an the International University of Languages and Media (IULM) in Milan, argues that we find ourselves on the threshold to a new paradigm, a new cultural revolution that renders the industrial revolution redundant. [1] Sacco distinguishes three regimes of cultural production: the culture of patronage (culture 1.0); the culture of mass markets and cultural industries, based on the industrial revolution (culture 2.0) , and the culture of ‘content communities’ (culture 3.0).

Sacco emphasizes the importance of technological developments. According to Sacco, we now find ourselves in a transition from culture 2.0 to 3.0, a transition that is driven by two simultaneous innovative tendencies: digital ‘content production’ and ‘digital connectivity’. We are witnessing the appearance of the ‘prosumer’, the combination of producer and consumer. In culture 3.0, communities create content and platforms that are open access en transparent in the construction of meaning. The distinction between producers and consumers is disappearing, culture is produced by the masses, also outside the market.

In short: “From cultivation (1.0) to entertainment (2.0) to co-creation (3.0).”

The three regimes, says Sacco, exist simultaneously in the present. In the art world we can find examples of 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 everywhere. In 3.0 the range and the possibilities, of the creative, professional maker are expanded in terms of co-creation and participation (‘creative leadership’). New and mutual forms of sustainability and of creative production are made possible. The ‘making’, in the concrete and material sense, acquires new meaning.

The British writer and art critic Robert Hewison emphasizes the relation between ‘home made creativity’ (the making), digitalization and creative industries. [1] Hewison argues that, strictly speaking, the creative industries do not exist. Hewison regards the creative industries as a political invention, a programme installed by neoliberal politicians to stimulate the economy.

The way in which creative industry is marketed is based, according to Hewison, on a hierarchical notion of art and creativity, in which creativity finds itself in the centre of everything and overflows to other regions in society. This deeply romantic notion presupposes the artist as the isolated genius, as an autonomous, self-driven and self-sacrificing individual, pouring forth expressive meaning.

However, states Hewison, the artist is at the centre of nowhere. All sort of professionals are working in the creative industries, except experimental designers and artists. If they are anywhere at all, it is in the margin where they are struggling for survival.

How do artists and designers relate to creative industries? What is the position of art education in this, what is the meaning of these developments for art education?

Do students need to be taught to be prosumers, and if so, why and how?

09.45 h Welcome
10.15 h Introduction by Janneke Wesseling
10.30 h Intervention by The Holls Collective
10.45 h Lecture by Robert Hewison + 15 minutes discussion
12.00 h Lecture by Bas van Beek
12.45 h Intervention by Remy van Zandbergen
13.00 h Lunch
13.45 h Lecture by Theo Ploeg
14.30 h Lecture by David Jablonowski
15.15 h Intervention by Sissel Marie Tonn
15.30 h Tea break
15.45 h Plenary discussion
17.00 h Drinks


Robert Hewison is an independent writer, curator, journalist and consultant, who specialises in the field of cultural policy. He studied at Oxford University, where he gained his doctorate, and Ravensbourne College of Art & Design. He has published more than twenty books on aspects of 19th and 20th century British cultural history, among them The Heritage Industry (1987), Culture and Consensus: England, Art and Politics since 1940 (1997) and Ruskin on Venice: “The Paradise of Cities” (2010). An authority on John Ruskin, he has held chairs at Oxford, Lancaster and City Universities. He has written on the arts for the Sunday Times since 1981. He is an Associate of the think tank Demos, and has been a consultant to the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Clore Leadership Programme. His most recent work, Cultural Capital: The Rise and Fall of Creative Britain was published by Verso in 2014.

LECTURE: Creating the Creative Industries: the British experience and its challenges

In this lecture Hewison will discuss the “creation” of the creative industries in the UK, with reference to its consequences for British art and design schools. He will argue that although the constituent elements of the creative and cultural industries play an increasingly important role in both the economy and contemporary culture, the debate about the definition of the creative industries reveals a confusion about the relationship between the terms “creative” and “industry”, and that the conventional model for the relationship needs replacing with a version that better understands the position of the artist within the creative industries matrix.


As an anti-designer Van Beek criticizes branding and intelligent marketing mechanisms, poor conceptualism and uncritical designer cults. His work explores the connection between politics and design. Van Beek often works with found materials and archives, exploiting the aesthetics of the random and of chance. He was the head of design LAB at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam lectured at the Technical University Delft, Istanbul Technical University, Dessau Institute of Architecture. His work is in the collections of the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Museum Princessehof, Leeuwarden. National Glassmuseum Leerdam, Zeeuws Museum Middelburg and Stedelijk Museum in ’s-Hertogenbosch. Next to his design practice he initiated a pilot for the Creative Industries Fund NL to re-establish the dialogue between designers and the industry.

LECTURE: The Multiple Personality Disorder of the Designer

The designer nowadays is not only working on the development of a new chair for a prestigious client. The last 5 years have changed the practice dramatically, with many questions unanswered. The product itself is dematerializing fast as film already did before. Streaming films and series through Netflix instead of buying physical DVD disk changed the entire business model. Will digital fabrication do the same for the product if you only need 3D cad file to print it yourself, on demand? And do we really need designers to make this 3D model? The technology to create one becomes ’stupid’ as it did for photography as well. The situation is schizophrenic and autistic, both designers and design labels pretending that they are creative and innovative, whereas in fact they are quite conservative and not willing to take any risks. As a result, the world is becoming an aesthetically homogenic place where everything needs to look familiar yet fresh and ideally like an Eames product. How do we educate this ‘new’ designer and do we need to learn from the past?


Theo Ploeg is lecturer, journalist, writer and researcher. He is initiator of the minor Intervention design at the Maastricht Academy of Media Design and Technology, focussing on designing for the new world. He is also lecturing at iArts, an interdisciplinary bachelor in arts. As co-founder of buro neue he investigates the link between theory and praxis of design culture. He writes about art, media and pop culture for Gonzo (circus) and FRNKFRT.

LECTURE: Design(ing) (for) the New World

The world is becoming smaller. Due to globalization, accelerating after world war two. Due to the possibilities of new media, interconnecting us with the other side of the world. Economic and cultural changes fuelled by these developments did drastically influence design culture. Artistic and autonomous visions on aesthetics and functionality, for example by designers like Dieter Rams and Charles Eames in the 50s and 60s, disappeared in favour of a ‘design as consumption’ way thinking: just design what the user wants. However, the times of abundance have passed. After the dotcom bubble burst in 200 and 9/11 a year later we’ve entered a new world were our faith is the future has vanished in thin air. That new world needs a different kind of designer. A designer that not only thinks about the user, but also thinks about the influence of design on society and the world. Not only user-centered but world-centered. What does that mean for new designers, design students and design education?


Amsterdam-based artist David Jablonowski had large scale solo-exhibitions at, among others, the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts, UK; Kunstverein Muenster, Germany; Gemeentemuseum The Hague, The Netherlands and the Dallas Contemporary, exhibition space in Dallas, Texas, US.

His works are included in a wide range of instutional and private collections such as the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and The Collection of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn, Germany. Jablonowski received his BA at the Gerrit Rietveld Acadamy, followed up by a 2- year residency at De Ateliers, Amsterdam where he also works as a tutor since 2013.

LECTURE: Stone Carving High Performance

In an associative way, as a hyperlinked text, the lecture will follow a format which brings the work- and thinking process of sculptor and installation artist David Jablonowski together.

In his artistic practice, Jablonowski examines contemporary communication technologies. In the form of sculptures, videos, and installations, he focuses on the development of language as a technically reproducible code and as an aesthetic production. The lecture will address Jablonowski’s interest in the sculptural quality of communication techniques, as well as in the specific aesthetics of different historical media formats, which make a long-term impact on perception and cultural self-conception.