In a way that contrasts with the more precise designations of other fields, the term applied art can mean more than just the tendencies of an increasingly conceptual and artistic mode of design. It also subsumes those contemporary developments in which fine art critically examines its utilitarian value and, via provision of utility and the performance of concrete services and basic research, can serve to continually expand forward-looking ways of thinking and spheres of action, such utility. This is less to question fine or free arts claim to autonomy than to make clear a potential via which the concept applied arts can be stretched and expanded.In todays forms of applied art (which, alongside industrial design and architecture, can also encompass non-material fields such as communication design and software programming), it is no longer the so-called Urtechniken [primeval techniques] and material divisions of Gottfried Semper that are of primary relevance. New technologies and conditions of production are expanding the field, putting the applied arts in a position to open up a new perspective on ways of thinking and acting which make it possible to effect change, generating innovation while both demanding and facilitating the reevaluation of established concepts and boundaries.Exhibitions realized to date:STIEFEL & COMPANY ARCHITECTS. Faux TerrainsPATRICK RAMPELOTTO. Adventures in FoamtaliaYsebastian. The Committee of SleepMarco Dessí. STILL LIFE
Cooperation University of Applied Arts, Vienna
Exhibition series APPLIED ARTS. NOW
The exhibition series APPLIED ARTS. NOW is intended to serve as a platform for contemporary forms of applied art and thus provide greater visibility for particularly interesting artistic stances originated by graduates of the University of Applied Arts who live and work on a freelance basis in Austria.
The MAK will be intensifying its efforts to promote younger generations of creative individuals. To this end, the University of Applied Arts is an obvious first stop. In addition to sharing a mutual history, the MAK and the University also concur in their view of the applied arts as a source of important potentials for advancing the positive transformation of our society. Together, we can become a central and open forum on Stubenring to further develop that international discourse which Vienna once again needs more of, identifying and using new ways to interlink various artistic disciplines.
Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, Director, MAK
If universities of the arts, in their function as aesthetic developmental laboratories, are to have an effect beyond the confines of their own walls, in society and in the overall system of art, and if contemporary art, architecture and design are once again to be given a stronger presence in society, then these universities must build close relationships with museums and other exhibitors. Only in this way can an effect be achieved in our world, subject as it is to rules associated with the economies of change and attention.
Via concrete projects, the MAK and the University of Applied Arts Vienna intend to embark upon a path of synergistic cooperation, thereby further potentiating the respective strengths of these two important Austrian arts institutions of international standing.
Gerald Bast, Rector, University of Applied Arts Vienna