Mass Customization in Art: Expressing the Modern Consumer

Identity Crisis: Works by Christopher Hauck in Gallery twenty-four, Berlin, Germany

Identity_crisisGallery twenty-four just announced an exhibition of new mixed media paintings by US artist Christopher Hauck (April 26– May 10) with the vernisage on May 05, 7-12 p.m. The exhibition is part of the Berlin Biennial 2006. The work of Hauck sounds like a perfect painted expression of a customer of a mass customization offering: on the hand side freedom of choice and co-creation, on the other burden of choice, emotional costs. And more general, of the contrast of following standards for peer-recognition versus the expression of one’s self.

From the invitation:

„Hauck’s detraction explores the commoditization of identity that occurs in all socio-economic striates; the person as product. Through a mixed media of paint and marker, Hauck investigates the mutually non-exclusive blurring of consumer and consumption; the “we are what we eat” materialization of identity in contemporary marketplaces and societies that are influenced by shifting cultural norms. …

Influenced by mass customization, on demand programming, user defined desktops, personal digital assistants, global distribution chains, and just in time inventories. All of which force the individual’s identity to the fringe. On one hand reducing our identity to a percentage point in a market share statistic and on the other hand liberating individual identity through mediated and technology defined personas.

The works both explore, and beg the question of, where all of this leaves the individual’s identity. Is our identity determined by MAC cosmetics and plastic surgery and kept alive by way of intravenous infusions of reality TV and talk radio? The “me too” persona on slow-drip life support. Or is there a new found freedom of individual identity and global self expression, blogging, podcasting, public authoring, and cyber-dating our way through shifting cultural norms and disintegrating geographic borders all of which afford us multiple and distinct identities?“

Read more here. Or visit the exhibition, if you should be in Berlin in the next weeks.

By | 2018-05-07T15:34:14+00:00 April 26th, 2006|Customization Trends, General, MC & Art|

About the Author:

Frank T. Piller is a Co-Director of the MIT Smart Customization Group at the MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, and a chair professor of management at the Technology & Innovation Management Group of RWTH Aachen University, Germany, one of Europe’s leading institutes of technology. Before entering his recent position in Aachen, he worked at the MIT Sloan School of Management (2004-2007) and has been an associate professor of management at TUM Business School, Technische Universitaet Muenchen. Frequently quoted in The New York Times, The Economist, and Business Week, amongst others, Frank is regarded as one of the leading experts on strategies for customer-centric value creation, like mass customization, personalization, and innovation co-creation. His recent analysis of the crowdsourcing business model “Threadless” (co-authored with Susumu Ogawa), an innovative crowdsourcing business model in the fashion industry, has been elected as one of the Top-20 articles in MIT Sloan Management Review.