Mark Davy, Founder and chief executive, Futurecity
Futurecity is a cultural-branding company, brokering collaborative projects that get artists into projects and places that would normally be off-limits and giving them access to architects, engineers, scientists and other disciplines. Most recently we unveiled a vast sculpture for Heathrow's new Terminal Two. The commission was based on travel, movement, communication and global links. Richard Wilson's winning proposal was for an 80-metre-long, 80-tonne sculpture Slipstream, inspired by aviation.
I believe art is a bottomless pit to be used for experiential inspiration. It allows advertisers and brands to behave badly or strangely and with a shrug of the shoulders say 'it's art'. As Dani Salvadori, director of enterprise and innovation at London's Central Saint Martins, summarises: "If brands are seen to be fostering interesting work, it can give them a relevance that is not purely commercial."
Luxury brands take the relationship between artists and themselves very seriously, but the originality, experimentation and vitality of the arts also appeal to younger lifestyle brands that want association with youth culture, raw excitement, risk taking and anything remotely new. These champion the idea of artist as consumer and consumer as artist, experimenting with street art, photography, film making, online gaming, audio and sculpture. This is a deliberately mixed-up world, where artists collaborate with other creative disciplines.
Red Bull's Studio has ignored the current obsession with pop-ups, creating a permanent house of culture in London where a rich and varied programme acts as a useful barometer of what is cool. Beck's has established a long relationship with contemporary artists, achieving the trick of making mass-produced beer seem exclusive and collectable, and we recently helped bookstore Foyles launch an art gallery space at its Charing Cross store.
The public has a strong interest in art.
It appears that in a century defined by the virtual world, digital technology and global information networks, people seem more interested than ever in the epic and grandiose vision of the artist.
Previous topics this week: Experiential Marketing Trends for 2015: Immersive experiences
Comment below to let us know what you think.
For more in-depth and print-only features, showcases and interviews with world-leading brands, don't miss the next issue of Event magazine by subscribing here.