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The rise of the creative at work

28 September 2016

Culture at Work

The fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us and we’re all going to lose our jobs, again. Putting aside the scaremongering and taking a look at the literature on the topic, there is no doubt we have to think about the future of work and our place in the system.

Tim Dunlop’s new book Why the Future is Workless (New South; rrp $29.99), for example, examines how automation will replace human workers, while a CEDA report from 2015 estimates that in 15 years about 40 percent of today’s jobs will be replaced by technology.

Did you ever think there would be driverless cars and what does that mean if you work for Uber? Have you thought about the impact of software replacing lawyers and accountants by searching case law and precedent, carrying out discovery, online accounting and book-keeping aps, for example?

When you consider we live in a Capitalist system, developments like these make perfect sense. Capitalism’s largest cost is labour. Destroying jobs cuts these costs, increasing growth. In the Capitalist system in which we live, using technology to get rid of jobs makes perfect sense.

No area of work is immune in the new world order of work and capital, except when it comes to creatives and empathy, and that’s where organisations such as CULTURE AT WORK (CAW) (pictured above) are ahead of the wave.

“After eight years of hard work, CULTURE AT WORK - a not for profit charity and an Australian Research Institute - was listed as the seventh most innovative NFP organisation in Australia,” says Liz Rowell, Board member.

“This was measured by innovation, adaption and achievement in creative outcomes including school programs and artist residency outcomes. The vision is to highlight the value of the artist as a contributor to research, creativity, innovation and the economy. Working with talented artists and connecting them with creative and flexible scientists, engineers and mathematicians, for the purpose of innovation and development in Australia and beyond, will mean that eventually creativity will be measured and valued as a great contributor to our future world,” says Liz.

“One day, artists working on collaborative projects will be paid in the same way as scientists. This will encourage hybrid artist-scientists and attract more girls to the field,” she finishes.

CAW is setting out to inspire future generations of creative thinkers through Art, Science and Technology in a series of programs that start from early learning and primary school programs for disadvantaged schools to community art and health programs like National Science Week talks, conferences, workshops, performances and art-science residencies and exhibitions.

Laura Jade Hindes is an artist with degrees in Biology and Painting and Illuminated Design. She has been an artist in residence with CAW and during her residency created a two-metre light brain with a team of technicians, neuroscientist and coders. A headset links the brain to the wearer’s alpha, beta and theta waves. Recently, Laura was at a science communicators conference, Starmus, on the Canary Islands with Stephen Hawkings and Brian Cox. Created by Garik Israelian, researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC), the Starmus Festival is a combination of science, art and music that has featured presentations from Astronauts, Cosmonauts, Nobel Prize Winners and prominent figures from science, culture, the arts and music. CAW is looking forward to what Laura will bring back to the organisation.

For more on CAW, and to get involved,