THE ARTS+ – New meeting place for the cultural and creative industries

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Last year, THE ARTS+ was launched as a new meeting place for the cultural and creative industries. This year it is back – and will run parallel to Frankfurt Book Fair from 11 till 15 October. In the run up to the big event BookMachine and THE ARTS+ are organising an event in London. So here we interview Hendrik Hellige, Director of Business Development Arts & Visual Culture to find out more (this interview first appeared here).

1) What does the Business Festival have to do with publishing and the Frankfurt Book Fair? And what will attendees experience there this year?

I am relatively new to the Book Fair team. I came from an international design publisher and in March of this year took on responsibility for all projects related to visual culture and children’s books. At the moment, I am working closely with THE ARTS+ team in preparation for this year’s presence. I see in this festival a logical extension of modern publishing – but expanded to include all cultural and creative industries.

2) Is there any “internal” cohesion of this economic sector? Something which drives all creative and cultural industries?

The eleven segments of the cultural and creative industries all differ greatly, but also have one thing in common. They are all about content. Whether architect, fashion designer, head of a collection or even publisher – they all create or curate unique content. This service represents a significant and valuable commodity that we can use even more effectively today thanks to new technologies and media. We want to break the boundaries of “traditional” ways of consuming content and point the way to new possibilities for their conveyance and thus pave the way for a commercial use.

3) What role does technology play for the future of the cultural and creative sector?

Many topics that, today, seem futuristic and are barely noticed will become the industrial standards of tomorrow. Just look at the development of the music industry – in just 15 years we went from physical recordings to digital music files, and from file sharing to streaming, and these resulted in new revenue models. With the e-book, for example, the digitalisation of publishing is just beginning and still developing. The production, distribution and reception of a digital book remain similar to that of a printed book. However, the multi-media revaluation and exploitation of content in the form of licensed transactions can become even more refined for the publishing market – as well as for the other cultural and creative industries – in line with the evolution of the entire creative landscape.

4) What do these developments mean for the role of the museum visitor?

At best, visitors to museums, exhibition spaces and galleries will become users of their content. The analogue perception is enriched by the digital, multi-media experience and sometimes even independent of time and location. This increases identification with the exhibition venue as a brand and can also be transferred to other branches of cultural and creative industries – as well as to the book market. Publishing houses are also increasingly becoming brands with their own resonance, captivating their customers with analogue and digital means, and becoming a part of their daily lives. Publishers become content curators. The publication products become multi-media carriers of attitudes and opinions – utopian places without space or time.

To find out more about The ARTS+ and to meet industry professionals who might be attending this creative hub, join BookMachine and the Frankfurt Book Fair team in London on Wednesday 5th July. Grab a ticket here.

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