gapingvoid is interested in start-up culture, because changing business for the better is what we’re about; that’s what Social Object Factory is about. We live and breathe it; we help everyone from lone entrepreneurs, to mid-sizers, to Fortune 500’s do the same. Check out our work here.
We create art that helps companies kick ass, end of story.
[“The processor is an expression of human potential.” One of the art pieces we did for Intel, loved by the CEO, now hanging in their boardroom etc.]
1. In terms of government spending, Rome’s first Emperor, Caesar Augustus pretty much had the biggest art budget in history. Even more than the Medicis. Way, way more than modern moguls like John Paul Getty or JP Morgan.
Augustus spent so much money because he knew what people in power have always known, that of all the ways of spreading ideas, Art is probably the fastest and most effective way of making it happen.
As Seth Godin famously said, “The ideas that win are the ideas that spread”. Ergo, Augustus was very keen to spread the “Augustus is awesome” meme all around the Empire.He started spending big-time, in all the major Roman cities, on art that glorifed his name. He pretty much created a widespread cult of Augustus.
“I turned Rome from a city of bricks, to a city of marble,” he famously quipped.
Of course, he was operating in a time before mass media, mass literacy, printing press, televison and radio etc etc. Back then “Art” had a virtual monopoly on spreading big ideas.
Later emperors– Hadrian, Caracalla, Dilocletian, etc– learned from his example to promote their personalEmperor-cult brand . And even before the Goths sacked Rome in 479 A.D., the Christian Bishops were doing the same, albeit for a different deity.
Emperor Augustus got me thinking how funny it is that, in today’s business, it’s the “external idea spreaders” (advertising, PR etc) that get all the glory. TV commercials and PR campaigns are sexy, expensive and glamorous.
Far less sexy is what they call “Internal Communications”, or “Internal Comms” for short. People pretty much associate that with corporate memos and newsletters full of dry language, stock photography and uninspiring graphic design. Ugh.
But why is that?
Seriously. It SHOULD be sexy, and it isn’t.
It’s such an important part of leadership! Leaders cannot lead unless their ideas first spread inside their company.
This should be a much bigger deal than it is. It certainly was a big deal to Augustus.
3. So how exactly does a powerful CEOwith offices in London, Hong Kong, Dubai, New York, Chicago, Sao Paulo, Nairobi etc etc tell his 5,000 or 50,000 employees what he or she REALLY cares about?
In such a way that people actually want to talk about it in an interesting an meaningful way?
Send a memo? Will it be read? Will it be shared? Will it matter? Exactly.
Commission an traditonal advertising campaign? If you have A LOT of money and A LOT of time… Do you really have that? And even if you do, will it actually work? Exactly.
4. With the value of leadership at an all-time high, the “Internal Spreading of Ideas” is an area that businesses and organizations need to be more creative about.
I think art can really help with this, big-time. That’s why I got in the business in the first place.
With that in mind, I’m currently looking for interesting examples of this “art in business” thing. Not for mere decoration, but for reasons of the aforementioned internal communicationa. Be it my art or anybody else’s art, it’s something I really want to riff on. If you know something in this department, I’d be happy to talk to you. Email: hughATgapingvoid.com
2. Alan Weinkranz also made videos at CES. Here’s one he did of me. Excuse the sound quality etc:
3. My time at CES was spent pretty much exclusively at the Intel stand, signing prints. It was great. Just… great. I turned up in Vegas with over 500 of them. By day three we had run out. We took a lot of pictures– a couple of hundred of them. You can see them on Flickr here.
4. Intel was at CES, of course, to introduce their new 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ processor. It’s smaller than a postage stamp. Intel has 80,000 employees. How do you fit so many people into an object so tiny? That’s what amazes me. That’s what I kept thinking about the whole time I was there. We live in incredible times…
5. Yes, I’m exhausted. Yes, I’m a wreck. Yes, it was worth it. Intel was an fabulous client. A special thanks to Marcia Hansen for getting me involved.
Like I said on my last post, I’m here to sign prints new Intel limited edition prints (suitable for framing yak, yak, yak). We editioned only 50 of each image for the show, and when they’re gone, they’re gone etc.
To kick things off, we’re going to offer you free CES swag! It’s not just a t-shirt, magnet, or coffee mug. It’s high quality artwork with key themes from Intel and CES. Check out the images we’ve got for you below. (click on any image for the full-size version).
Throughout CES this week, not only will we be showcasing the visibly smart technologies from Intel, we’re going to be working with GapingVoid, otherwise known as Hugh MacLeod. You probably already know Hugh. He’s famous for creating cartoons on the back of business cards. Plus, he authored Ignore Everybody, a book about creativity that was a Wall Street Journal best seller.
Hugh is going to be at the Intel booth several times each day creating live artwork and signing prints for you. If you’re at CES, stop by the Intel booth, look for Hugh, and you can get an autographed cartoon. If you miss him, or you’re just going digital this week, check back every day here at Inside Scoop for digital versions of Gapingvoid cartoons that speak to CES 2011 and Intel technology.
I’m excited about lot of things this week.
I’m excited to be at CES– I’ve never been before.
I’m excited to have Intel as a client. A huge company doing interesting, world-changing stuff from the very heart of Silicon Valley.
I’m excited about the idea I created for Intel- the idea of a processor being akin to a painter’s blank canvas (see the drawings above). I’m also excited about the line I wrote for them, “The processor is an expression of human potential”.