Aesthesis: International Journal of Art and Aesthetics in Management and Organization Life
Aesthesis was not just an academic research project, but a design project – emerging out of Jonathan Vickery's new generation masters program, the MA in International Design and Communication Management. In this program, design was conceived primarily as a way of thinking, and as an intellectual project. The penultimate issue Jonathan edited – Aesthesis 5, above - was a themed issue on design management, in a part collaboration with the Bruce Mau studio in Toronto, and organized in the first instance by one of the graduates from the MA program, Whitney Geller. All the other contributors to the issue were convened by Ken Friedman (now at Swinburne in Melbourne) and Laurene Vaughan (RMIT).
Vol. 1: ONE
This first issue was a venture into unknown territory – creating an expensive and labour-intensive journal that went out of its way to work with academics on being creative, engaging in experimentation and exploration. Developing a committed constituency was crucial in this regard. This issue enabled its contributors to use other media to supplement their written research writing: Antonio Strati, for example, while being a European authority on organizational aesthetics, is also a painter and photographer. Cal Tech Management professor Chris Poulson similarly is a photographer, and here we published a portfolio of his photographs.
Vol 1: TWO
This issue featured a DVD of Steve Taylor's play on impermeable organizational structures and the fate of individuality: Blasphemy and Doubt. The issue is a collection of diverse articles on management and organization theory from the vantage point of aesthetics, which some industry input from Bilbao’s Funky Projects and WorkPlace design, and some poetic interventions into management thinking. It opens with Vincent Degot's classic 1987 article on artistic labour and management: 'The Manager as Artist'. Since publication, Vincent has been inspired to write an updated version of his article.
Vol 2: ONEbr />This issue required a lot of collaborative work with Pierre Guillet de Monthoux and Antonio Strati and their international range of contributors, from artist Michel Sherdin to musicologist Nina Koivunen and writer Claire Jankelson. The theme is memory and the need for an investigation of organizational memory formations. The highlight of this edition perhaps was British artist Ben Johnson agreeing to us publishing his commission for the Liverpool European City of Culture year, called ‘The Liverpool Landscape’ (2008). It was painted ‘live’ in front of the public in the city's Walker Art Gallery.
Vol. 2: TWO
This again was another general issue, featuring a diverse range of contributions from Janet Borgeson on poetry to Josef Chytry's masterly critical summary of recent themes in management and organization theory. Steve Taylor's collaboration with Barbara Karanian extends Bourriaud's concept of ‘relationality’ into organizational leadership. Wendelin Kuper's creates a phenomenology of organizational aesthetics; and we have a great overview of the emerging creative industries in Shanghai from BBH's Linlin Shan (another of our MA graduates).
This was the last of the projected six issues. It was a themed issue, on neo-classicism in music and its relevance as a cultural paradigm for management and organization studies. The issue features an exclusive CD recording of the NZTrio, a classical chamber group from New Zealand. Contributions ranged from a neo-classical understanding of artists inside organizations by Pierre Guillet de Monthoux, to a study on Piranesi's aesthetics from Peter Pelzer. It was guest edited by Ralph Bathhurst and Wendelin Kupers, Massey University, New Zealand.