Craig Walsh, Incursion - 61

The edge of innovation is a magnet for contemporary artists. The ZERO1 Biennial which will take place in Silicon Valley again this September is the largest contemporary art festival in the US and a platform for experimentation by artists intimate with technology. A path to the magnet.

ArtPlace helped fund the launch of a major initiative that will create another path to this magnet, the ZER01 Garage where principles of artistic creativity will be applied to real world innovation challenges. The Garage, literally, a 10,000 square foot former auto parts garage in the heart of Silicon Valley, will become home for ZERO1′s anchor exhibition space, offices and one of its new product labs.

ArtPlace asked Douglas Hull, ZERO1′s VP of Marketing, about surprises, good and bad, ZERO1 ran into after finding its soon to be new home.

Doug: The elasticity of time. How it seems to be able to stretch infinitely and snap back when you least need it. An attribute which is particularly evident when brokering a commercial property lease, as Joel Slayton, ZERO1′s Executive Director found out. The hard way. However, the real business of developing the Garage while planning the Biennial illustrated the synergies between programs and these confirmed the interest of business partners as the very first fellowship was signed with Google.

ArtPlace: Any lessons learned for others in the creative placemaking field?

Doug: Finding a creative way to help business partners reach their strategic objectives is one of the keys to sustainability. And it is possible for an art organization to find that. Be adaptable. When opportunity knocks, listen, learn to listen. Work with experts to define the benefits you will provide. But don’t try to come up with a perfect plan, just a very good direction. Allow yourself to learn as you go, so you always keep moving in that direction.
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