Building a Creative Space for Seoul : the Mission and the Strategies

, ,
Building a Creative Space for Seoul:
the Mission and the Strategies

Youn-Hoan Kim, Head of the Arts Space Utilization TFT, Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture
1. The challenges facing modern cities and the transformation of the art paradigm
In Korea, a country which has hitherto been preoccupied with high-speed economic growth with no leisure for reflecting on the past, it was inevitable that speed should have been the priority in the constructions of cities as well. Hence, all over the city there is an increasing number of buildings which have become unviable after only after a few decades or which have lost their functionality. The most representative cases are public facilities such as underground commercial arcades or district (dong) administrative offices, and the problem of re-utilizing such idle spaces has now become a policy challenge at the national government level. On the other hand, the boom in the construction of mixed-use (commercial and residential) buildings which were highly popular until only recently has shown some stagnation, while old buildings that are infused with Seoul’s history are drawing our attention. The reason that we have thus begun to focus on the utilization of unused spaces in the older heart of the city is because previous urban policies have exposed their limitations 1) and we have reached a point where we must look for new solutions. The fact that globalization has intensified the competition between cities also had a large impact in this respect. Each city is making an effort to enhance their respective uniqueness and dignity, and in the process they are demonstrating a preference for a method of urban development that relies on art. The reason for this is that previous methods of urban development had not only produced similar urban scenery, but also resulted in limiting the lives of citizens, and culture and the arts are now being perceived as a beneficial means to resolves such problems.
Accordingly, there has been an increase in cases where many idle spaces within the city has been recycled as spaces for art and culture, and in particular, there has been many cases where creative spaces have been built. Creative spaces are functionally different from pre-existing types of cultural spaces. The older model of cultural spaces serves to exhibit completed artworks or to conduct cultural programming for citizens, whereas creative spaces not only produce creative contents, but are also capable of conducting exhibitions of artworks and cultural and arts education programs. The unique feature of such creative spaces is that they are perceived as having the advantage in actively responding to the present needs of the city. Creative spaces have thus become noted as the launching base for heightening the individuality and aesthetics of the city and for improving the quality of life. Creative spaces are at the vanguard of urban planning and function as a contents factory for citizens’ creativity and as an agitpunkt 2) for artists who engage in avant-garde experiments to address the present challenges involved in city planning.
Meanwhile, as artists and artistic creative spaces emerge as the new leaders of urban regeneration, this is having an influence on art paradigms. This means that as changes occur in the platform, content and form through which artists who participate in urban transformation practice their art, their own identities, in other words their identity 3) as artists, are also undergoing change. This becomes evident to the masses through the changes in the system by which art is created, communicated, and appreciated.
The sites of such artistic transformations are easy to locate: they include autogenous communities of creative studios, such as those in Mullae-dong which have recently gained much popularity, or the black box theaters or alternative spaces that are located in the vicinity of the Hongik University campus. There we often witness experimental artists create works and rehearsing them and then immediately presenting them to the public in the same location. There is thus a temporal and spatial condensation of the process by which art is transmitted from its creation to its reception. In some cases, citizens may even participate in the creation process or view the rehearsals. Accordingly, the contents of the facilities installed in the space are also changing. Instead of installing all the functional elements, these spaces opt to prepare only the minimally necessary facilities and leave the rest empty, emphasizing instead the role of the participants (artists and citizens). As the role of the artists, who are the major users of art spaces, becomes more dominant in the administration of such art spaces, it is inevitable that importance will be placed upon the artists’ creative intervention, and consequently there occurs a transformation in the nature of the art spaces.
The change in the nature of the art space becomes reflected in the expansion of the locations and spaces utilized for artistic creation. Artworks that in the past were produced in specialized work studios are now being created in the streets, plazas, alleys and neighborhoods all across the city. Also, the shift in the subject of creation is a notable phenomenon: not only professional creative artists but all citizens are now being regarded as the subject of creation. More specifically, these subjects take the form of citizen art prosumers 4) or neighborhood artists. The third change is in the content of the creative works: the traditional artistic genres are being broadened into experimental, post-genre forms, and contents which in the past were not defined as art are now newly being adopted as the valid matter of art. Fourthly, the form of creation has also experienced changes. If before the creative methods were focused on highly-skilled and professional functions, now the creative form has become variegated, with many hybrids of specialized and popular methods.
As a consequence of such changes, now artists are living in an era when "anyone can become an artist," and the traditional image of the artist(a producer of the aura of artistic works, equipped with inspired genius) is becoming eclipsed by the emphasis on the role of "mediator for art."Concomitantly, the institutional aesthetics by which art and non-art were categorized are also changing, and the locations where artworks are presented have expanded beyond the gallery or the performance venue and spilled out into the streets and daily living spaces. Moreover, the birth of the citizen prosumer has engendered a change in the creative forms, opening the door to an era where ordinary citizens can create art themselves, and where artists and citizens may collaborate in the creative acts.
2. What kind of creative spaces does Korean society require?
Across the country, many local self-government organizations are taking the initiative to build creative spaces for the purpose of revitalizing the cities. Such projects for building creative spaces should not be simply understood as the task of constructing physical buildings: rather, it would be more accurately described as the project to form a artistic and cultural ecosystem that includes the regional community. Therefore, in order for such projects to proceed with success, it is important to develop creative formation and administration methods that differ according to the respective purpose and location of the formations. In order to infuse vitality and individuality to each of the sites, we will also require the close cooperation of the various agents involved in the formation of these spaces. The government must provide administrative support, the artists should offer creative intervention, and local residents and commercial entities must have an understanding of and a cooperative attitude toward creative spaces. Even during the construction of facilities, it will be necessary to induce active participation of the artists. The creative studio is a space where artistic work requiring high expertise takes place, and hence it should best be designed in the style desired by the artists who are the first users of these spaces, and they should also be operated in the manner desired by the artists themselves 5). Unless such basic conditions are properly prepared, we will face a situation where the artists and the building diverge in purposes. This is because artists are beings who turn the surrounding environment, including the physical facilities as elements of their art. Because of this special nature of artistic spaces, visitors who visit these locations marvel at the unfamiliar and entertaining spectacle of the creative spaces and become deeply immersed in their attractions. Therefore the secret to forming successful creative spaces is to find a means to secure the autonomy of artists that will allow them the liberty of operating the spaces, while still not relinquishing the public function of
such spaces.
It is thus necessary to examine what the tendencies of creative spaces have been in the past and to identify what the challenges are that need to be resolved.
Pre-existing creative spaces include various types, such as individual creative studios, creative residency programs, and creative studios that utilized unused old school facilities. Each of these spaces have their own respective advantages and drawbacks: individual studios provide a strong sense of autonomy but the expenses involved make them difficult to operate within the city. Meanwhile, residency programs have contributed to the discovery of emerging artists and the vitalization of exchanges within Korea and abroad, but they fail to provide a stable support as creative studios. In the case of art studios that utilize closed school buildings, they have provided spacious locations for artistic work at a cheap price, but intensified the economic hardship of artists due to the lack of linkage to artistic economic activities. In this respect, the kind of artistic spaces required by our society at the present is that which can resolve the flaws of the pre-existing types of creative spaces while providing a new form of creative space that fulfill the demands of artists, citizens and the city alike. In other words, we require a mediating space where the creation, distribution and reception of artworks can occur simultaneously, a space that contributes to the strengthening of the local community, and a space where art and industry can intersect and mutually prosper.
3. The Search for a Creative Space Model for Seoul to Serve Artists, Citizens, and the City.
The administration of Seoul and the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture have been implementing the Art Factory Project since 2007. This project, called the Model of Creative Spaces Adapted for Seoul, aims to enhance the international competitiveness of this city by heightening the creative ability of artists and citizens, in accordance with Seoul’s "culturenomics" strategy established in 2007. To fulfill this objective, we seek to culturally revitalize the old center of the city by re-utilizing idle spaces that no longer fulfill their functions as creative spaces, thereby also infusing new vitality to the local community and quenching the cultural, environmental, educational and economic demands of Seoul.
The special feature of the Seoul-Model Creative Spaces (hereafter referred to as Seoul Creative Spaces) is above all the fact that they will be built in many locations throughout Seoul, thereby aiming to serve as local-bases that contribute to the cultural specialization and balanced development of each respective district. For this purpose, the administration of Seoul plans to form a total of 15 creative spaces in various locations: 3 locations in 2008 (Nanji Art Studio, Creative Studios for the Disabled, Nam San Creative Center), 6 in 2009 (Namsan Arts Center, Seoul Art Space SEOGYO, Seoul Art Space Geumcheon, Seoul Art Space SINDANG, Seoul Art Space YEONHI, Seoul Art Space MULLAE), and 3 in 2010 (Seoul Art Space HONGEUN, Seoul Art Space SUNGBUK, Creative Playground for Children in Gwanak). Each of these spaces sought to take into consideration the cultural, historical and economic features of the respective district, while also responding to the need to distribute genres for the balanced development of the arts and to respond to the demand of citizens for cultural enjoyment. For example, in districts such as the Hongik University campus neighborhood or the Mullae-dong area where artists are currently active, the spaces were prepared so that they can function as support centers for the artistic activities in the area in question, while in the case of Geumcheon-gu, where the industrial foundation is solid bu the cultural infrastructure is in shortage, the Seoul Art Space Geumcheon was conceptualized as a space that will add art to the pre-exiting industries, there by not only responding to the need for the vitalization of the local culture but also meeting the local economic demands. Seoul Art Space SINDANG was formed as a craft workshop village with consideration given to the traditional open-air markets called the Joongang market and Dongdaemun market which are the vincinity, while the Seoul Art Space HONGEUN was designed for the stage arts focusing on dance and as an ecological creative space. Seoul Art Space SUNGBUK was conceptualizedas a space for citizen’s won creativity, while Gwanak was designed as a creative space exclusively catering to children. These spaces, while of course striving to attain specialization in terms of genre and characteristics, have also appropriately distributed spaces for other genres as well 6). Meanwhile, we also plan to strengthen the project of building a network that will integrate all of these spaces even while each of these spaces remains highly local and responsive to its respective district within Seoul.
Secondly, we sought to overcome the drawbacks of pre-existing creative spaces and to better fostertheir advantages. Pre-existing types of creative spaces can be broadly categorized as the following: individually operated creative studios, residency program studios, and creative studios that utilized closed former school buildings. The Seoul Art Spaces minimized the financial burden incurred when operating individual art studios and instead provide conditions where it is possible to focus on creation. The Seoul Art Space YEONHIfor literature was built in the forest within the heart of the city, and we are also preparing to open Seoul Art Space HONGEUN, where one can focus on the stage arts such as dance (2010). Meanwhile, in consideration of the fact that residency programs exposed their limitation in providing a stable creative space, the Seoul Art Space SINDANG was prepared to provide stable creative spaces, while Seoul Art Space Geumcheon was designed as a space to invigorate international exchange. Also, in order to resolve the limitations on economic activity which was the disadvantage of Art spaces that utilized closed former school buildings, we are preparing a mutual Win-Win arrangement (through the conclusion of mutual MOUs, etc.) whereby art and industry actively intersect in the locations including Seoul Art Space Geumcheon, Seoul Art Space MULLAE and Seoul Art Space SINDANG. Of course, a single space cannot fulfill every one of these demands, but as these numerous creative spaces each realize their respective advantages, we expect that we will find that means to overcome the shortcomings of previous Art spaces.
Thirdly, we strive to encourage the active participation of artists in the formation of these Art spaces. We actively collected basic advice regarding the design and concepts of these built spaces as well as consultations regarding the operation of the spaces from artists active in their fields and experts in various areas. Also when building the interior and exterior of the spaces, we introduced various methods to solicit the participation of artists and art groups, by conducting public projects, public charrettes, and installation art works by resident artists. This ensured that the spaces actively reflected the case of the artists who are their initial users, thereby conferring them a sensibility that is differentiated from other cultural facilities and turning the spaces themselves into works of art. This also reflected our intention to provide the citizens who will use the creative spaces in the future with opportunities to appreciate culture. Such methods also had the advantage of raising efficiency in terms of construction costs, and that we were able to garner relatively good results in proportion to the amount of capital that was invested.
Fourthly, we upheld the principle that artists should actively participate in the administration of the spaces.
We openly solicited the participation of artists in various projects and supported their efforts or collaborated with them, and we are opening doors to enable the participation of active artists in programs for the administration of these Art spaces. As an even more active method, we are seeking the participation of cultural, artistic and social corporations in the operation of cafes or restaurants which are public spaces installed within the Art spaces.
Our fifth goal is to establish a new support system for the arts based upon the integration of these Art spaces and the art support system of the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture. In the past, artists had to overcome many challenges on their own in order to engage in their creative work. However, in order for a single artist to achieve his or her growth, the support of many specialists in various fields is needed. Therefore, what we need is an integral incubating 7) system that encompasses the production, distribution and consumption of art based upon the concept of supporting the entirety of the creative environment. More specifically, these efforts should include the formation of an optimized specialized human resource pools (assistants, coaches, managers, choreographers, producers, curators, art critics, designers, publicity marketers, art dealers) through the SWAPanalysis of artists, the support of creative spaces (Seoul Art spaces), financial support (production costs for art works, living stipends, expenses for performances and exhibitions, etc.) and others. Also in the method of selecting artists, we will need to employee diverse methods of evaluation including interviews and demonstrations (showcases, etc.) in addition to previous assessment methods.
4. Introduction to Each of the Seoul Art Spaces
<Figure 1> Current status of Seoul Art Spaces as of 2009
*Grey letters indicate the scheduled results for 2010
The basic direction for the project of creating the Seoul Art spaces is to be a program for fostering artists by promoting artist incubation, exchanges of international residencies, and international interaction as with other artist villages, and also to serve as a program for revitalizing local culture by operating creative workshops for local residents and offering classes for experiencing culture and the arts. As a program for promoting cultural industries, we seek to upgrade traditional industries through linkages between artistic activity and the industry in the vicinity, to promote the project for merging art and technology, to develop the art market, and to build affiliation with shopping malls. All three of these basic directions for the project applies fundamentally to all creative spaces but the details of application differ for each space.
  <Chart 1> Seoul Art spaces created in 2009
The following is an examination of the current status of the specialization of each space: first of all the Namsan Arts Center located in Namsan (South mountain) is being operated as a space for leading the vitalization of performance art of Seoul and for promoting the creativity of citizens through education and the arts. Namsan Arts Center includes two institutions, one of which is the arts education hall, a specialized space for education in the culture and arts where we conduct aesthetics experience education as part of the creative cultural arts education ‘Arts-Echo Project.' The other institution is the production theater focused on outstanding modern plays from Korea and abroad.
The installed facilities include a seminar room, the experiential education room, the information archives for arts education, the research hall for education and creative development, creative practice rooms, and a performance venue that can seat 500 people.Major programs include (Teaching Artist) Arts-TREE, a course for the reeducation of professional artists, the cultural mediator training course Arts-TREE for public officials, teachers and welfare workers, Arts-TREE for the creativity of children, Arts-TREE for the creativity of adolescents, and content development and research programs for cultural arts education. The theater programming for the year 2009 features "Today, the Guest Arrives" as well as "The Dream of the Sea Turtle", "The Gentleman and the Rogue", "Gi-ha Jang and the Faces: Performance Concert" and "The Older Brother of Unhyeun Place," etc.
Seoul Art Space SEOGYO located in the area of the Hongik University campus is housed in the remodeled building of the former district office of Seogyo-dong. The Hongik University campus area is the epicenter of the indie and alternative culture and the club going culture of Korea where around 500 indie bands, 20 cultural organizations, and 10 festivals annually are active. Seoul Art Space SEOGYO supports cultural production and planning activities in linkage with the cultural resources that are concentrated in front of Hongik University, and providing intends support for the growthof emerging small groups, etc., offering creative and production spaces for cultural and artistic activists and providing cultural presentation venues for performances, exhibitions, events, etc. It also operates various cultural information guide services along with administering programs that encourage citizen participation. Currently the media art production organization ‘AliceOn’, that indie band label ‘Cabaret Sound’, the public arts organization ‘Munhwaronolizzang’, the multicultural 'Salad TV', and the theater production group‘Directing Studio’ have taken up residence and are active. The major programs in operation are our efforts to support various festival events in front of the Hongik University such as the "Seoul Fringe Festival," the "Seoul New Media Festival," the "Korea Experimental Arts Festival," the "Seoul Wow Book Festival,"etc., as well as the Rooftop Workshop Project, the Resident Music Salon, the Hongik University Cultural contents market, Contents Market, and the Media Gallery.
In the Mullae-dong area, which is transformingitself from an ironworks factory zone to an arts village, we are building we are building Seoul Art Space MULLAE to support the pre-existing arts village. Seoul Art Space MULLAE which is scheduled to open inDecember of 2009 is equipped with facilities for creative work and presentation activities including a shared workshop studio, a black box theater for multipurpose presentations, an exhibition hall, a recording studio, seminar rooms, and a hostel for artists. Major programs are international exchanges with arts villages, joint creative work, regularly scheduled forums in linkage with artists whose activities are centered in the Mullae arts village, lectures, artist archives, citizen participation programs, etc.
In the case of Seoul Art Space YEONHI, this space was built as a nature friendly literature creation village that brings into relief the beautiful scenery of independent houses that harmonize with the surrounding greenery of nature. Seoul Art Space YEONHI supports the creative work of literary authors and will take on the role of a base for the exchanges and collaborations between various genres. The facilities include independently structured writing rooms where authors can immerse themselves in their creative work, writing rooms for foreign writers, literature media labs, a playground for artists, seminar rooms, and outdoor performance venues. Major programs include international exchange and visiting writer programs, resident writer publication commemoration events, literature lectures for citizens, story factories for children, Consilience workshops, etc.
Seoul Art Space SINDANG is located in a market where people gather her to negotiate prices and to buy and sell items. The Jungang market is also one of the 3 major traditional markets of Seoul. Seoul Art Space SINDANG is a creative space built for the invigoration of the traditional markets and the development of the craft arts, and seeks to take advantage of its location in the heart of downtown by installing as many creative spaces (currently 40 creative rooms) as possible. Seoul Art Space SINDANG brings together not only craftsmen engaged with ceramics, fabrics, metals, glasses, wood crafts, paper, lacquer crafts and cloisonne but also artists in non-craft areas such as printmaking, bookart, photography, illustration design, media video, public arts production, etc. thereby promoting the diversification of arts programs. Major programs are the open studio festival, the public arts project "Revivifying the market alleys," the traditional market DIY project, and the art market "general thrift shop". Also, Seoul Art Space SUNGBUK which is scheduled to open in 2010 is a local cultural arts education space oriented toward citizen creativity, and Seoul Art Space HONGEUN is a creative space for performance arts centered on dance equipped with medium and large-scale black box theaters that is also a space that strives toward creating an ecological local artistic community. The Gwanak Creative Playground for Children is being built in the southside of Seoul where many residences are concentrated as a creative space exclusively devoted to children.
5. Seoul Art Space Geumcheon: An International Residency in the Art Factory Model
Seoul Art Space Geumcheon is an international residency studion that combines the regional features of the local area and global aesthetics and that seeks to fulfill the suggestions raised by artists in relation to the lives of citizens.
Seoul Art Space Geumcheon is located in Geumcheo-gu, which is a semi-industrial area in the southwest side of Seoul, and in the vicinity are the Seoul Gasan Digital Complex, a high-tech information technology complex, a large-scale fashion outlet complex, and large home-shopping companies, making this a zone where traditional and future-oriented industries commingle. Seoul Art Space Geumcheon reflects these local characteristics and strives to be a factory for producing new artistic energy through the intersection of the arts and industry.
The features of Seoul Art Space Geumcheon can be categorized into three elements. The first is its character as an incubating studio 8) for young and creative artists. It is a base where international artists can come and active engage in their work within Korea, and we seek to serve as a space that constructs a positive-feedback structure so that their artistic activities can be linked to the market. We shall discover promising artists who can be fostered to become globally renowned artists and promote their development by providing a creative work environment and opportunities for exchanges with outstanding producers and curators from abroad.
Secondly, our objective is to become a residency that puts into practices both the values of art and the values of society. Contemporary art tends to move beyond the bounds of the art world and expand into the society at large, and hence we shall promote the experience of and communication with various fields including space studies, urban aesthetics, community research, environmental aesthetics, ecological aesthetics, media aesthetics, cultural and urban anthropology, etc., thereby preparing for the future. Research into the arts, criticism workshops, production workshops, etc. will enable us to conceptualize artistic proposals.
Thirdly, we seek to achieve international productions that realize the creative ideas of artists. The
culturenomics policy of Seoul’s administration can be executed along the three axes of 1) the production of cultural arts, 2) cultural industries and 3) the production of public art. These three axes shall be implemented with mutual and organic relations. This signifies the development of Seoul productions and international productions that supports artthat is not merely ego-centric but rather a public and socially oriented art related to our lives.
  <Chart 2> Major facilities at the Seoul Art Space Geumcheon
It is not only important to define the nature of the space, but also that of the programs to be operated in it. Among these considerations, the first is to prepare appropriate support programs for the artists who will be the main protagonists of the operation of the space. This refers to comprehensive support programs such as artist incubating 9) that will encompass promotion for the production, distribution, and consumption of art. This should not be limited to direct support for the artist individual; it should rather be the means for laying the basis for the existence of artists by creating an arena where artists may be active. Therefore the strategy for support should not be confined to providing support funds as in the past, but should take the form of offering a variety of specialist human resource pools including artist assistants, coaches, managers, choreographers, producers, curators, art critics, designers, etc. according to the needs of the artist and the group. It should also encompass a variety of support services such as the operation of management programs and reviews of the processfor achieving objectives, practical support for portfolios, etc., promotion of networking, soliciting presentation spaces for works of art, support for international exchanges, and provision of linkages to the art market. In the past, artists were compelled to seek to overcome their challenges (despite the fact that they often could not be overcome) by relying on acquaintances. We shall also implement artist exchange residency programs, by preparing responsible foundations for executing this goal through the conclusion of MOUs for exchange with relevant foreign institutions.
Secondly, we will proceed with programs that seek to built cultural villages focused on creative spaces. Creative spaces are the fountainhead for the cultural arts, and by differentiating themselves from other spaces, they can serve as locations where artists and local residents can interact. In the creative spaces, it is important to encourage artists to not only devote themselves to their creative art but also expose themselves to contacts between artists and the citizens, thereby enabling these spaces to function as an "village meeting hall for culture" where the cultural arts are produced and consumed together. In the past, many public arts projects 10) sought to deeply penetrate the local community and engage in creative activities based on the local society, but they could not help face obstacles. The solution to such problems is to adopt the creative spaces as the basis for local creativity, and implementing in practice continuous public programs for citizens and artists. The public artworks that are created as a result will become cultural assets unique to the locality, valued and well-maintained by the local residents. Such programs include the Pechakucha Nigh Geumcheon, the operation of the local resident creative workshop (neighborhood workshop) and the Seoul Prosumer Arts School.
Thirdly, we aim to implement mutually beneficial programs through the intersection of the arts and industry. Many artists are facing difficulties because they fail to directly connect their artistic activity with the economic structure. Meanwhile the world of industry is also lamenting the deficiency of creative contents 11). Although this does not necessarily need to be applied to all artists, at least for those artists who desire such programs, we need to establish programs that offer linkage between the arts and industry. The meeting of craftsmen working with fabrics and metals with representatives of the fashion industry, the upgrading of wholesale tableware merchants through collaboration with ceramics artists, joint projects engaged by video media artists and IT companies, the operation of art markets through the interaction of the arts village and shopping malls, the production of recycled artistic furniture through the meet in goof environmental recycling artists and the recycling center, etc. are examples of practicable programs that we should prioritize. At Seoul Art Space Geumcheon, we plan to implement an Art Robot project. The Art Robot Project commemorates the conclusion of the mutual agreement between the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture and the Seoul Gasan Digital Complex Resident Companies Association by launching a project which brings together the participation of the resident artists of the Seoul Art Space Geumcheon, robot technology engineers, and the companies of the Gasan Digital IT complex and that proposes to enhance the brand image of the Seoul Art Space Geumcheon as well as building the infrastructure for the international creative cluster in the Southwest zone of Seoul.
6. New Alternative Spaces for Artists, Citizens, and the City
We have hitherto emphasized the autonomy of the creative studio of artists, which we consider the incubator for creation. However, now creative spaces must not only function as a place for the production of artwork by the artist, but also expand its functions to contribute to the strengthening of the community as well as serving as the basis for igniting urban creativity. A city in which artists, who are the creative class, are happy is ipso facto a city where citizens are happy, and thus it is that artists seek to realize in practice the ideal stated by Joseph Beusy that "every person is an artist" and navigate the city dreaming of creating a space where, as Lefebvre has said, "the city is the artwork."
※ This manuscript was composed by drawing upon the author’s own writings regarding creative spaces and the data provided by the Arts Space Utilization FTF.
1) Sang-rak Seo, The Directions and Strategies for Urban Development in an Era of Slow Growth. During the period of high-speed economic growth, Korea consistently pursued a policy off maximizing efficiency and speed in accordance with the logic of economic growth and large-scale development in implementing our urban and regional development policies. However, recently there is a rise in interest in the sustainable development of cities that focus on the quality of life. Now the argument is that a city should be designed, refined and maintained in order to truly improve the quality of substantial life and that a city should be pleasurable, aesthetic and balanced. The contents that reflect such ideas are the campaigns to create a beautiful city, to create a green city, to build a city infused with history and culture, to create a welfare community for all, to create a city where pedestrians are prioritized, and to create a city that meets the challenges of globalization.
2) The fact that artists (the creative class)are the new leaders of urban regeneration (the fountainhead of creativity in the city) has been demonstrated by many international examples, including SoHo in New York City, 大山子of Beijing, and Daehak-ro (the "College Avenue") and the Hongik Campus area of Seoul.
3) Gang Kim, A Study of the Role of the Artist in Contemporary Art. Masters thesis for the Graduate School of Hongik University Aesthetics Department, 2008
4) In The 3rd Wave (1980), futurist Alvin Toffler predicted the era of the prosumer.
5) Although it may be irrelevant in the case of creative spaces operated by individuals, in the case of creative spaces built with public funds, sustainable operation will only be possible if the creative usage of the artists is balanced with the public utility. If emphasis is placed only on public function of these spaces, the creative intervention of artists becomes limited, and the differentiation from other cultural spaces disappears leading to the failure of the invigoration of the space, and on the other hand, if the emphasis is placed only on the creative use by artists, then the justification for the investment of public funds becomes weak andthe budget becomes reduced, leading to the reduction of artistic creative activity.
6) For example, in the case of Seoul Art Space SINDANG, we sought to achieve a synergy effect by combining 70% allocation to craft arts with 30% allocation to non-craft fields such as photography, illustrations, book art, and art planning.
7) France’s AMI(Aide aux Musiques Innovatrices), for example, is a social company that concentrates on fostering musicians which operates in 1 year 32 external specialist pools required for the supportive and collaborative work in order to foster 1 musician.
8) Resident artists at the Seoul Art Space Geumcheon: The first cohort of artists selected for residency at the Seoul Art Space Geumcheon includes 14 teams, with 9 individual artists and 5 group teams. All are emerging or more established artists noted for their unique work and variety of activities. In terms of genre, the 14 teams include 5 teams in the visual arts, 5 teams in the installation and video field, 1 team in the performance and experimental art field, 3 teams in the glocal aesthetics field. Also, there are the robotic technology engineers (Art Robot Project) who have taken up residence as part of the technology art plan and short-term foreign resident artists.
9) France’s AMI(Aide aux Musiques Innovatrices), operates 32 external specialist pools for the supportive and collaborative work required to foster 1 musician.
10) Public Art : The recent trend toward public art is another instance of the transformation of art. These days, many artists and artistic groups have broken away from their isolated studios and entered the neighborhoods and are actively engaged in work for the local community. Although there have been some achievements, there are many remaining challenges. The original purpose of public art being the regeneration of cities, public art should not only focus on the improvement of urban scenery but must also contribute to the strengthening of the community of the residents who are the proprietors of the city. "City galleries" or "Art in the City"reflected an awareness of this purpose and hence emphasized local community, but their efforts fell short of the ideal. The reason for their failure is that they relied on event-oriented and short-term programs,and after the execution of the project, it was hard to locate artists or groups who remained and stayed active in the local community. When we examine the successful cases of public art that we sometimes witness, we can easily observe that the relationship between the artists and the local residents persist. Therefore, in order to vitalize public art, what is needed above all are large numbers of public-oriented artists who engaged closely with the local area in practice, and this in turn requires an agitpunkt(location / space) where they have stable gatherings and are provided with the conditions needed for autonomous activity.