Artmaking as Entrepreneurship
Effectuation and Emancipation in Artwork Formation
In this article, I assess how the improvisational and collective models of organizing known as effectuation (Sarasvathy 2001) and emancipation (Rindova, Barry and Ketchen 2009) apply to the making of socially engaged artwork. This case study focuses on the entrepreneurial nature of art-making exemplified by FOOD (1971), a collaborative work initiated by Gordon Matta-Clark and Carol Goodden and made possible by a host of co-creators throughout its three-year run. This article explores the motives and means that generated this work and argues that under certain conditions, an artwork functions in distinctly entrepreneurial ways. I also argue that the case of FOOD demonstrates how entrepreneurship can be central to artwork formation. Specifically, the processes involved in structuring a socially engaged artwork rely on the effectual principles of affordable loss, strategic alliance, exploitation of contingencies, and control of an unpredictable future, as well as the emancipatory principles of seeking autonomy, authoring, and making declarations. This article also introduces the term “artwork formation” to tether effectuation and emancipation to the continuous formation of socially engaged artwork. By recognizing the entrepreneurial process as an aspect of socially engaged art-making, I seek to invite discussion on the connection between artistic production and entrepreneurship and to support the validity of entrepreneurship in creative pedagogy and practice.