Break in Methodology

A Break-in Action is when you put people, products or services from the world of arts into a different organisation working on non-cultural issues to develop the organisation, to promote innovation and to work with the values of the company. – Boris Meggiorin, head of International development at the Cluster Quartier de la Création, a service of SAMOA (Redevelopment agency of the West Atlantic urban agglomeration in Nantes, France)

What we call a “break-in” action is commonly known as “art intervention, which is an interaction with a previously existing artwork, audience, venue/space or situation.[…] Intervention art may attempt to change economic or political situations, or may attempt to make people aware of a condition that they previously had no knowledge of.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Art_intervention)

The popularity of art interventions emerged in the 1960s, when artists attempted to radically transform the role of the artist in society, and thereby society itself. They are most commonly associated with conceptual art and performance art and the term intervention clearly expresses the idea “to interrupt or to break continuity”. In recent years, artistic interventions have been introduced by employers to support change, to strengthen creativity and innovation capability, to improve working conditions, and to enhance the skills of the workforce.

Stimulating employers and their sta to engage with the arts in their workplace can be seen as a potential trigger to enable organisational learning. An artist brings an X-factor to the established processes in a company!

Artistic interventions – when people, practices, or products from the world of the arts enter the world of (non-art- based) organisations – are an interesting phenomenon that has come to the foreground in recent years in the search for new ways of seeing and doing things in organisations.

The confrontation between the perspectives, behaviours and values from these two “universes”, the Universe of Artists and Creatives and the Universe of Employers, can generate innovation and new perspectives by challenging underlying assumptions and irritating routines in an organisational culture, thereby opening spaces of possibility.

This report was written as part of the Break in the desk project funded by the European Commission.