The impact of Contemporary Art and Music tendencies on education in the European Union (en/ro)

Updated: Feb 22, 2019


The European cultural and creative industries represent a significant set of industries. Social, cultural and technological changes have helped fuel our thirst and demand for cultural products, new forms of entertainment, distraction, and inspiration. Driven by these changes entirely new industries have emerged (e.g. computer games, web design), older cultural industries have gone from being the preserve of the elite to mass market global industries (e.g. books, high fashion, designer goods), and traditional consumer industries have tried to redesign and repackage what they have always done to suit consumers’ insatiable desire for culture and creativity. Europe’s cultural and art industries are global leaders and competitive exporters in a wide range of fields. They are the heart of creating Europe’s culture and identity, and central to promoting Europe’s identity around the world.

What is generally called contemporary music is actually an evolution of classical music and for this reason very often this genre is also named contemporary classical music. In fact since the end of World War II a new kind of music developed, originally inspired by romantic music, but also introducing many different characteristics of modern music (atonality, twelve-tone music, Second Viennese school, etc..). The debate over the use of the definition is still open and although some critics include in this category all genre of music composed in the modern age, others focus just on the use of avant-garde music.

We could generally divide the development of contemporary music in two major periods:

1945 - 1970: electronic music, concrete music, experimental music, minimalist music;

1970 - Today: Postmodern music, neo-tonality, spooky music.

The role of arts education in forming the competences for young people for life in the 21st century has been widely recognized at the European level. The European Commission proposed a European Agenda for Culture, which was endorsed by the Council of the European Union in 2007.

2009 is the European Year of Creativity and Innovation and is a further recognition of the links between cultural awareness and creativity. The Year addresses themes such as fostering artistic and other forms of creativity through all levels and forms of education. At the same time, the European Parliament's 2009 Resolution on Artistic Studies in the European Union puts forward key recommendations for the development of artistic education and calls for greater coordination of arts education at the European level. Previous research on the potential of arts education to enhance the creativity of young people has underlined the need to continuously improve its quality.

Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. A 2005 report by the Rand Corporation about the visual arts argues that the intrinsic pleasures and stimulation of the art experience do more than sweeten an individual's life -- according to the report, they "can connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing," creating the foundation to forge social bonds and community cohesion.

Of course, there are problems in contemporary art related to globalization and issues of art education. The main thing that is constantly improving artistic and art education, deepening its understanding and importance in world culture.

Education policies almost universally recognize the value of arts. Forty-seven states have arts-education mandates, forty-eight have arts-education standards, and forty have arts requirements for high school graduation, according to the 2007-08 AEP state policy database.

In fact, creativity and the ability to innovate are decisive for sustainable economic and social development.

And the most important thing is that at crisis only culture and art may deduce humanity from tribulations to light and prosperity.


contemporary, art, modern, culture, music, fine arts, education, European Union


One of the best ways to understand a society is

to look at the art, music and literature it produces.

The traditional definition of "High Art" – music, performance art, choreography, fine art, sculpture, architecture, literature and poetry, theatre – descended from the eras of kings and aristocrats and carried connotations of wealth and elitism. Some else kinds of art such as cinematograph, audio-visual art, photography, decorative design were created later.

And also it is a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts – artworks, expressing the author's imaginative or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.

In their most general form these activities include the production of works of art, the criticism of art, the study of the history of art, and the aesthetic dissemination of art.

Contemporary Art just means «Art that has been and continues to be created during our lifetimes», in other words «contemporary to us».

Looking at the Baroque style tells you a lot about what is going on in the17th century. Looking at the Rococo and Neo-Classical/Classical styles of the 18th century tells you a lot about that time period. Looking at the Romantic and Realistic styles of the 19th century also tells you a lot about that century. The artistic styles of the 20th century likewise tell you a lot about that century.

Contemporary Art means the point at which artists:

  • felt free to trust their inner visions

  • express those visions in their work

  • use real life (social issues and images from modern life) as a source of subject matter

  • experiment and innovate with different subject matters and mediums as often as possible

Arguably the most eventful period in the history of art, the 20th century witnessed the birth (foreshadowed at the end of the 19th century) and outgrowth of abstraction, along with innumerable movements that came and went amidst radical changes across the globe. Artists from a larger number of countries made important contributions than in earlier periods, and they did so in a larger number of places. Many important innovations also diffused more rapidly, and more widely, than in earlier times. The dominance for much of the century of conceptual forms of art, from Cubism and Dada to Pop and Conceptual Art[1], was largely responsible for the greater speed with which innovations spread: conceptual techniques are communicated more readily, and are generally more versatile in their uses, than experimental methods. Nevertheless, regardless of style, one can point to three particularly distinctive trends in much (though certainly not all) 20th century culture and art:

  • A tendency to be less and less accessible to average person

  • A tendency to glorify art itself

  • A tendency to undercut traditional standards and values

In view of the above, contemporary art contains internal conflicts and contradictions. These conflicts caused by time and formed situation as well as intentionally created by artists. Sometimes rather than creating images of conflict or creating art that responds to it directly, artists employ conflict as an internal quality of their work. Some artists deliberately create an element of contradiction in their artwork in order to create tension or irony, to highlight certain qualities, or to create unforeseen relationships that allow us to think differently. Through unexpected juxtapositions, they challenge our expectations and perceptions of the everyday. Disputes on all scales—national, personal, internal—have made for the subjects of paintings, monuments, and other art forms.

The twentieth century was a time of rapid globalization for advanced art. Commercialization, fashion and globalization also dictate their own rules, pursuing private, selfish and mercenary interests. They become decisive and suppress the high aspirations of artists. It all hinders the development of arts, immerses it into darkness, erases the boundaries with mediocrity. Often, everything ends on a primitive epatage of public.


[1] Conceptual art is art for which the idea (or concept) behind the work is more important than the finished art object. A concept is an idea or thought, so the term conceptual art means literally ‘idea art’ – or art about ideas. It emerged as an art movement in the 1960s and the term usually refers to art made from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. Conceptual art can be – and can look like – almost anything. This is because, unlike a painter or sculptor who will think about how best they can express their idea using paint or sculptural materials and techniques, a conceptual artist uses whatever materials and whatever form is most appropriate to putting their idea across – this could be anything from a performance to a written description.

Artists associated with the movement attempted to bypass the increasingly commercialized art world by stressing thought processes and methods of production as the value of the work. The art forms they used were often intentionally those that do not produce a finished object such as a sculpture or painting. This meant that their work could not be easily bought and sold and did not need to be viewed in a formal gallery situation. It was not just the structures of the art world that many conceptual artists questioned, there was often a strong socio-political dimension to much of the work they produced, reflecting wider dissatisfaction with society and government policies.


The result is the defilement of new generation and it becomes easily suggestible and manageable.

But does globalization brings just one negative?

To answer this difficult question, we need to understand the meaning and concept of the "Globalization".

First, the term «Globalization» although specialized in its art-historical and art-practice senses, also refers to the whole organization of society beyond art.

Secondly, that although the term names forces that have shaped societies and civilizations across the globe, these originated principally in one part of it – the «West» – and have achieved dominance beyond Europe and the United States partly through centuries-long histories of western colonial and imperial conquest.

Thirdly, that the meanings of the term, though now confidently expounded in scholarship, teaching, and public arenas, remain uncertain: “globalization” is not a finally agreed quantity either historically or in its likely future effects within the art world, or the wider world beyond.

It is a set of testable hypotheses concerning the progressive ordering of the world and its hitherto separable societies, their peoples, activities and products, into a single system.

Globalization and Contemporary Art is concerned with one facet of this apparent systematization: the remaking of artists, art practices, styles, institutions for art collection, exhibition, sale and pedagogy within such a single, globalized order.

The artworks under scrutiny – contemporary or historical – cannot adequately be understood in isolation from the societies in which they were produced.

Is there such a thing as global art? As in literature in contemporary art a global language has become an entry requirement to the global art market. Thanks to its size and its concentration processes this market promises disproportional rewards to the winners. The pull of economic opportunity and the pressure for artistic conformism lie close together. In a market trading status symbols which have to be globally comprehensible, recognizable, discussable and culturally convertible too much particularity and too much complexity compromise success. A considerable number of even high-priced contemporary artworks lack more and more the qualities which lent avant-garde art its unique importance: controversy, depth and innovation.

But at the same time the global art market of the 21st century is not just a continuation of the avant-garde art market of the 20th century. Money has gained a new importance in the positioning and the evaluation of art, to such an extent that one may speak of a new chapter in the history of the art market. Art and money used to be incompatible notions. Today they are mentioned in the same breath: “Art & Finance” is a new business sector, art funds move larger sums of money, curators gather with fund managers at Art & Finance conferences and, perhaps most dramatic of all, the criteria for evaluating art shift from artistic standards towards quantitative economic parameters.

The worldwide turnover at art auctions, now estimated at $30 billion, has tripled since the turn of the millennium, with the market share of contemporary art rising steadily. Despite the economic downturn, in 2010 art prices approached the level had reached in 2015, their historical peak.

A common concern since the early part of the 20th century has been the question of what actually constitutes Art. In our contemporary period, the concept of “avant-garde” may come into play in determining what art is taken notice of by galleries, museums, and sophisticated collectors. In some circumstances, even “Propaganda” and “Entertainment” have been regarded as art genres during the contemporary art period by these same art world audiences.

But of course there are many positive moments.

The dignity of globalization in culture is the increased contact between cultures, identities and views across national boundaries, community association, in which societies come closer together and develop shared values and interests. All this is largely due to the application of modern communications. Global communications play an extremely important role in the cultural dimensions of globalization. The term refers to the use of new information communication technologies such as the Internet, mobile phones, e-mail, and satellite TV. These technologies are becoming cheaper and more widely available. The increasing ease and speed of global communication has both direct and indirect influences on looks, tastes and world outlook.

All technology incorporates and reflects, the values of the society, that society’s particular creative genius, as well as the specific nature of the sociocultural environment in which technology is developed. This makes it difficult, therefore, for it to be transplanted successfully to a basically difficult environment. Such transplantation or transfer of technology can only be successful if it can be adapted to the values and social structures of the new environment.

Information Art – is an emerging field of electronic art that synthesizes computer science, information technology, and more classical forms of art, including performance art, visual art, new media art and conceptual art. Information Art often includes interaction with computers that generate artistic content based on the processing of large amounts of data.

Digital Art – is an artistic work or practice that uses digital technology as an essential part of the creative or presentation process. Since the 1970s, various names have been used to describe the process including computer art and multimedia art, and digital art is itself placed under the larger umbrella term new media art.

After some initial resistance, the impact of digital technology has transformed activities such as painting, drawing, sculpture and music/sound art, while new forms, such as net art, digital installation art, and virtual reality, have become recognized artistic practices. More generally the term digital artist is used to describe an artist who makes use of digital technologies in the production of art. In an expanded sense, "digital art" is a term applied to contemporary art that uses the methods of mass production or digital media. An example of a collage of digitally manipulated photographs.

The techniques of digital art are used extensively by the mainstream media in advertisements, and by film-makers to produce visual effects. Desktop publishing has had a huge impact on the publishing world, although that is more related to graphic design. Both digital and traditional artists use many sources of electronic information and programs to create their work. Given the parallels between visual and musical arts, it is possible that general acceptance of the value of digital art will progress in much the same way as the increased acceptance of electronically produced music over the last three decades.

Digital art can be purely computer-generated (such as fractals and algorithmic art) or taken from other sources, such as a scanned photograph or an image drawn using vector graphics software using a mouse or graphics tablet.

Digital visual art consists of either 2D visual information displayed on an electronic visual display or information mathematically translated into 3D information, viewed through perspective projection on an electronic visual display. 3D graphics are created via the process of designing imagery from geometric shapes, polygons or NURBS curves to create three-dimensional objects and scenes for use in various media such as film, television , print, rapid prototyping , games/simulations and special visual effects. Computer-generated animations are animations created with a computer , from digital models created by the 3D artists or procedurally generated . The term is usually applied to works created entirely with a computer. Movies make heavy use of computer-generated graphics; they are called computer-generated imagery (CGI) in the film industry. Digital installation art constitutes a broad field of activity and incorporates many forms. Some resemble video installations, particularly large scale works involving projections and live video capture . By using projection techniques that enhance an audiences impression of sensory envelopment, many digital installations attempt to create immersive environments. Others go even further and attempt to facilitate a complete immersion in virtual realms. This type of installation is generally site-specific , scalable , and without fixed dimensionality , meaning it can be reconfigured to accommodate different presentation spaces.

Thanks to the high technologies appeared new beautiful and innovative discoveries in the world of art.

And in the music of 20 - 21 century also occurred big changes. What is generally called contemporary music is actually an evolution of classical music and for this reason very often this genre is also named contemporary classical music. In fact 20 century gave the development of new numerous kinds of music, originally inspired by romantic music, but also introduced many different characteristics of modern music (atonality, twelve-tone music, Second Viennese school, etc..). The debate over the use of the definition is still open and although some critics include in this category all genre of music composed in the modern age, others focus just on the use of avant-garde music.

The most important event in the musical art of the 20th century become the atonal system (music out of tonality). This is a complete leaving from traditional clasical music. Arnold Schoenberg (Austrian, then an American composer, conductor, musicologist) headed a group of musicians decided that tonal music (logical construction commensurate chords) has exhausted itself, and they proposed the so-called atonal music, and 12-tone composition system (known as the "dodecaphony" or "serial technique"). What might have seemed that the music has ceased to be melodic and harmonious, not all composers embraced their ideas.

Sergei Rachmaninoff continued to compose in his own rich, romantic style to the end. Other composers such as Jean Sibelius, felt behind the times and simply stopped writing music.

Successful composers were those who managed to find a middle ground. Richard Strauss began in the 1890s in a romantic style, but became one of the first major composers who switched to modernism.

Igor Stravinsky, one of the most successful composers of the twentieth century, and admired shook spectators throughout his 70-year career, his fierce 'mechanical' rhythms and a new type of harmony.

More than ever before, a huge impact on the music, had the political events of the first half of the 20th century.

Wars, revolutions, social and economic upheavals have shaken the world in the last century.

Many composers for inspiration again and again turning to folk music. Bela Bartok - Hungarian composer, studied peasant folklore (Hungarian, Romanian, Slovak, Turkish, etc.) And joined the folk melos with the techniques of avant-garde music, becoming one of the most profound and influential innovators in the music of the XX century. Their American counterparts, began to attract its own native music - jazz. The leading American composers in this direction were George Gershwin and Duke Ellington.

But modernism in music was that for the first time, the musicians and the audience realized that music should not be limited to traditional areas and may be completely different.

We could generally divide the development of contemporary music in two major periods:

1945 - 1970: electronic music, concrete music, experimental music, minimalist music;

1970 - Today: Postmodern music, neo-tonality, spooky music.

The post-war period musical vocabulary expanded and instrumental techniques took to extreme and experimental sounds. In that time saw the birth of the Summer Courses for New Music Composition, which is held every two years at the International Institute for Music of the German city of Darmstadt, in which musical language was revolutionized. One of the most influential teachers in the early years in Darmstadt was French composer Olivier Messiaen, who introduced musical techniques borrowed from non-European musical cultures in his works.

During the Sixties thanks to innovations brought to Europe by John Cage, the randomness and uncertainty become part of the materials used in the process of composition and interpretation. The Trosième pour piano sonatas of Pierre Boulez, the Mobile of Henri Pousseur, Quadrivium and Aura of Bruno Maderna are some of the most notorious works of that time.

The same period also saw influences from Indian philosophy. Terry Riley and Thornton Young (also known as La Monte Young) fathers of minimalism, composed works finding their inspiration in Indian philosophy, upsetting the traditional conception of rhythm and duration.

During the Seventies contemporary music was imprinted by a strong tendency for individualism, which allows composers to differentiate the styles and genres, and to move freely between heterogeneous materials, in an original reflection on the world and cultures. For this reason that decade is seen as an era dominated by a plurality of styles. For example, György Ligeti began to melt influences from the music of different cultures and eras, composing a stylistic and ironic pastiche, Mauricio Kagel brought theatrical features, Salvatore Sciarrino adopts a rarefied language, mixed to silence.

The Eighties were the decade that saw the end of the political system in Eastern Europe and openness to other cultures, the beginning of a period of general crisis, which weakens the ideas and ideologies born in the second post-war period. The protagonists of the Neue Musik (born in the mid-twenties) are now old and no longer provide new stimuli. At the same time there does not seem to be a generation capable of ending the crisis and giving music the strong impulse of renovation that already seems to be necessary.

The Nineties were characterized by the acquisition of new techniques and technologies, thanks to the spread of the computer. The music software comes from large research centers and allows each composer to achieve in his studio works of electronic music. The same mode of composition is affected, with extensive use of improvisation. This trend finds its expression also in forms of social engagement that connect more and more inextricably musicians and singers, even in defense of their creativity. This same period also saw the rise of la Musique Spectrale (born in France), in which some authors combined different experiences to create a new music.

In general, the modern times convinced many new composers that they had to leave the past behind and finding more and more advanced methods and ideas. And there are many different forms of performance, to promote, popularize and develop of contemporary art: concerts, festivals, competitions, exhibitions, audiovisual installations, theatrical performances, cultural flash mobs, musical instruments in public places for free playing music on them and many other.

It should be noted a great contribution to modern European art made by our country. Moldova is very generous for highly gifted creative personalities. This is the composers, performers, singers, dancers, conductors, choreographers, directors, actors, painters, writers who have received confession and celebrity in the European Union and beyond. One of these unique artists is ballet choreography Radu Poklitaru, who gained the recognition in many countries around the world.

Radu Poklitaru is one of the most gifted balletmasters in Europe, whose art enraptures the audience and evokes great controversy. He is a man of outstanding talent, gifted with acute sense of modernity. His name first became known in the late 90-s when Radu`s short productions, singled out for their flexible approach to the art of dance, musicality and dramatic structure, were winning first prizes at a number of International ballet contests:

Prize-winner at the Arabesque Russian Open Ballet Dancers’ Competition (Perm, 2000, 2010; prize for best piece of contemporary choreography)

• Prize-winner at the International Competition of Ballet Dancers and Choreographers (Varna, Bulgaria, 2008, 2000; prize for best contemporary choreography)

• Prize-winner at the International Competition of Ballet Dancers and Choreographers in Moscow (2001; 1st prize in the choreography competition)

• Prize-winner at the International Serge Lifar Competition (Kiev, 1999; 3rd prize in the choreography competition, 2001; 1st prize in the choreography competition)

• Prize-winner at the International Festival of Contemporary Dance in Vitebsk (Belarus, 2000; special prize for best choreography)

• Prize-winner at the International Oleg Danovski Competition (Romania, 1999; prize for best piece of contemporary choreography)

• Prize-winner at the Music of the World international festival (Italy, 1999; prize for the best one-act ballet)

• Recipient of the Kiev Pectoral prize (2002, 2006, 2008)

Poklitaru’s portfolio includes more than 30 full-length and one-act ballets staged in various European houses, such as the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, Russian Chamber Ballet ‘Moscow’, the Stanislavsky Music Theatre, Moldova National Opera, Latvian National Opera, Belarus National Opera and National Opera of Ukraine.

Each work of the choreographer is an experiment and search for novelty attracting the audience by its unexpected approach to world-renowned theatrical plots, innovation and enrichment of contemporary dance, while remaining true to the music. Every production aims to show the complicated inner workings of the human psyche.

According to Radu Poklitaru he appreciates free dance, which denies nothing, and embraces every dance style: “If I find a classical move that makes the point, then I use it, just as I will use a movement from modern dance. When one has no taboos, ones palette is richer. It may seem to be eclectic, but when I use many styles I feel truly free.”

Performances by Radu Poklitaru have been staged at International Musical Festivals and tours in Great Britain, France, the USA, the Netherlands.

Notable work: the current director (2006–present) and artistic manager for the Kyiv Modern Ballet; from 2012-2014, the judges for “Everybody Dance!”; in 2014, the choreographer for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Sochi; from 1991–2001, a ballet dancer of the National Academic Bolshoi Theatre in the Belorussia Republic; from 2001–2002, the head choreographer of the National Opera in Moldova; from 2012–2013, the creative director of the Municipal Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre for Children and Young People in Kiev.

The first deep and extensive literary research of creativity by Radu Poklitaru is done by Elena Uzun[2], famous musicologist, music and theater critic, journalist, poet, writer, member of the Union of Composers and Musicologists of Moldova, editor of the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after Maria Bieşu, Irina Arkhipova Foundation Prize Laureate. In 2012, Elena has released a remarkable book[3] about the famous choreographer, which includes materials, generalizing the activities of Radu Poklitaru till 2011. This is a unique work, which analogues do not exist. Choreography by Radu Poklitaru is a new school of contemporary ballet.


[2] Over more than 25 years of active creative life, on account of Elena Uzun gathered a lot of publications about the creative personalities of Moldova, about the key cultural events, poetry and prose of her own composition and much more.

In fact, now in Moldova there is no other such an outstanding personality who would make such an enormous contribution to the critical musicology and has made many important steps to promote the Moldavian musical art in the press.

[3] Elena Uzun – «Free Dance of Radu Poclitaru». – Ch.:Cuşnir & Co : ELAN INC, 2012


And finally, what happens in Art Education nowadays?

“Education in the arts” and education “through the arts” open up access to a more widely defined cultural education and are an essential part of it at the same time. The aim of education must be to promote the full development of the personality, talents, and mental and physical capabilities of each individual person. The development of opportunities for individuals, so they can: express their own culture; explore, understand and embrace diversity in order to overcome cross-cultural prejudice; compare different cultures; respect tolerance; preserve and shape their own identity and culture.

The role of arts education in forming the competences for young people for life in the 21st century has been widely recognized at the European level. The European Commission proposed a European Agenda for Culture, which was endorsed by the Council of the European Union in 2007. This Agenda acknowledges the value of arts education in developing creativity. Furthermore, the EU strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training over the next decade clearly emphasizes the importance of transversal key competences, including cultural awareness and creativity. 2009 is the European Year of Creativity and Innovation and is a further recognition of the links between cultural awareness and creativity. The Year addresses themes such as fostering artistic and other forms of creativity through all levels and forms of education.

At the same time, the European Parliament's 2009 Resolution on Artistic Studies in the European Union puts forward key recommendations for the development of artistic education and calls for greater coordination of arts education at the European level. Previous research on the potential of arts education to enhance the creativity of young people has underlined the need to continuously improve its quality. Every country reports that it has specific recommendations or initiatives to encourage partnerships between schools and professional artists and/or arts organisations. What differs from country to country is the extent to which such recommendations and initiatives are formalised and implemented at national level.

Arts-related festivals, celebrations and competitions are routinely held in more than a dozen countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Hungary, Malta, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and the United Kingdom (Scotland)). These events are not confined to opportunities to demonstrate specifically artistic knowledge and competences but may also take the form of literary or sporting competitions. In Slovenia, competitions of this type are also supported at the international level for both ISCED 1 and ISCED 2 students. For example, competitions in the field of visual arts were organised in the past in collaboration with the International Society for Education through Art (InSEA).

Five countries have other initiatives in place to support and develop arts education. In Denmark, a significant recent initiative taken in the field of cultural and creative education is the development of the Danish Cultural Canon, which was established in 2006. The overall aim of this project was to give all citizens a general overview of Danish art and culture and contribute to a lively cultural debate by acting as a yardstick for quality. In order to create this canon, 7 committees within the respective artistic fields of architecture, visual arts, design and handicrafts, films, dramatic art, music and literature were appointed by the Danish Minister of Culture, Brian Mikkelsen.

In Greece, a project entitled 'Melina: education and culture in primary schools' was carried out between 1994 and 2004. Its aim was to encourage re-examination of the teaching methods and the content of arts curricula including theatre, visual arts, contemporary dance, music, photography and literature. This project was jointly launched by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture. In Finland, a new project TaiTai was launched in 2008 to promote the development of innovative methods for teaching arts subjects in various school settings.

Simon Rattle said, "The society is changing, we no longer need the model that assumes there are a thousand obedient worker bees for each queen bee. Everyone in the industrial sector tells me we are educating our young people for the demands of today. We don’t need people who think in straight lines. We need people who can see the wider picture; we need people who can make connections, unexpected connections. This is the area in which the arts are supreme, in which art and education can give more, in every respect, than any other discipline.”

Education must take into account social challenges.

Our world is characterised by rapid change, increasing globalisation and increasingly complex economic, societal and cultural relations. Information, education and knowledge are progressively becoming the driving forces behind our new social and economic structures. The qualifications and competences of our citizens are thus becoming our central “raw material” and, as such, crucial factors of international competition. They are the key to every country’s future. If we are to meet these tremendous challenges with foresight and a sense of proportion, we need a suitable educational foundation that will set the necessary orientation benchmarks in this rapidly changing world and enable us to deal with it in a constructive and critical way.

Cultural education, that is, education in the arts and education through the arts (which means the use of art-based forms of teaching as a pedagogic tool in all kinds of school subjects), as examined by Anne Bamford in her systematised and comparative global review written for UNESCO, entitled “The WOW Factor”, makes an important contribution to the achievement of this aim. It is, in effect, a motor of individual development. Increasingly, parents are coming to recognise this. In Austria, at least, the most recent cultural monitoring study carried out by the Institute for Empirical Social Research (Ifes, Institut für Empirische Sozialforschung) showed that parents would like to see more art and culture in the schools because they believe that cultural education plays an extremely important role in the comprehensive development of their children’s personalities. And just recently, the Nordic Council identified cultural education as an area that needs to be more intensively focussed on by the schools in the coming years and correspondingly expanded and developed. Artistic processes relate to the world “differently”. Learning is a creative process. What we learn depends, for the most part, on how we learn: on the learning place and learning atmosphere, the time, the rhythm and the clearness of presentation. Learning by means of art-based methods opens up specific spheres of experience and development – an easily recognisable fact that has been examined and described in numerous studies. This form of learning is distinguished by the particular vividness and clarity with which knowledge and ideas can be communicated. And it promotes a positive understanding of diversity, of different approaches and of multi-perspective ways of viewing things – for example, by directly conveying the insight that there is more than one reasonable answer and more than one solution to a problem. Not only demographic changes – which the schools are now having to deal with constructively – have made it clear that a homogeneous culture for all simply does not exist, and that, more than ever before, we are being called upon to take this into account. A sensual approach lets children discover new worlds and come to grips with them in playful ways.

The essential elements are: perception and creativity, the enjoyment and adventure of seeing and hearing, of trying things out, of simulating, playfully transforming, and achieving new effects under controlled guidance – and, of course, time and again, invention. It is a matter of providing an indispensable and different access to the outer and inner worlds (apart from the cognitive approach through technologies and media).

It is a proven fact that we need sensual experiences in order to develop: neuroscientific research demonstrates how thinking is stimulated by the senses and that creativity requires neuroplasticity.

Creativity and the ability to innovate are decisive for sustainable economic and social development.

At present we are at the end of the industrial age. The abilities and skills that were needed to safeguard the social order of industrial society are losing relevance. The modern working world is no longer primarily defined by demand, but rather by perpetual renewal and innovation. One of the most essential competences needed in the future will be the ability to decide, for the most part independently and unrelated to predefined work processes, which possible solution to a new problem is the right one.

Knowledge and creativity are the new economic factors. It is not raw materials and machines, capital and land, analysts say, that will be the driving forces of our economy in the future. The deciding factor in the success of countries and regions will be the competition for creative and innovative minds. “Creative education,” summarises Monika Kircher-Kohl, CEO and CFO of Infineon Austria, “is a precondition for innovative industry. Cultural education is the basis for people’s ability to work together productively with understanding and respect in teams and global organisations. Artistic education ensures that young people will find the courage to cross boundaries and thereby develop their personalities – not only their intellectual talents – to the full: Education in the sense of a democratic society is inextricably linked with these attributes!”

In this respect, adequate attention must be focussed on the multifaceted potential of young people, and conditions must be provided that allow this potential its full development. Unfortunately, up to now the promised paradigm shift has been reflected in the education system to only a very limited extent, or has been responded to merely with tightly structured “creative training” sessions.

Creativity needs freedom. It is something more than “superficial creativity”.

But creativity – the ability to create something new – needs to be allowed to grow and develop in its own way and in its own time; it needs patience and faith. Creativity cannot be measured or produced according to scale. It cannot be categorised. It lives on freedom, not commands. (The problem is: The systems we have now are enormous categorisation and compartmentalisation machines, which oppose behaviour that diverges from the norm.) Creativity requires self-organised people and tolerant, open communities. This is what cultural education aims for.

Teachers play a decisive role in awakening and encouraging creative potential. They provide examples in the way they teach and through their personality. This is why teacher training is so important. Teachers must be capable of capturing their pupils’ interest and fostering their abilities in the sense described above and thus of presenting lessons clearly and competently enough to achieve these goals. At the same time, they must be interested in an interdisciplinary approach and have the corresponding capacity to work cooperatively. As a matter of fact, a large percentage of teachers are in favour of artistic and cultural activities and a number of them engage in such activities with commitment, which results in lasting positive effects for everyone involved. At the same time, there is an obvious disproportionality between the personal commitment required on the part of the teachers and the small amount of institutional support they receive in a system where openness for such activities is lacking. Often enough, teachers have to battle all kinds of structural resistance before they can carry out their activities. Art and educational institutions have an educational mandate. A new learning culture has to be promoted by enabling new learning communities and supporting networks. Cultural institutions, too, need to rethink their roles in connection with cultural education; generally, the production, presentation and preservation of the cultural heritage are placed in the foreground while education takes a back seat. In this respect, great differences are observable among the various countries of Europe. As far as mandates and measures relating to cultural and educational policy are concerned, a number of cultural institutions offer cultural education programmes which are also school-oriented.

These vary from country to country. The fact is that for some time now, these institutions have been no longer measured by their artistic production alone, but also by their ability to attract an interested and informed public and to fulfil their educational function. Increasingly, this is leading to intensified contact between these “educational partners” and, at least in some European countries, to helpful accompanying structural measures. Moreover, some cultural institutions explicitly assume the cultural and political mission of reaching socially disadvantaged and educationally underprivileged target groups, as well as of generally facilitating cultural participation for young people.

Culture and cultural competence are understood differently.

If we think about cultural competence and try to determine what it really is, we also have to reflect on what precisely is meant by culture. There are a number of definitions, some of them similar to one another and others contradictory, and they all can influence the approach taken with respect to necessary cultural policy measures. I shall single out those which exemplify the various positions and enable us to recognise the conflicting perspectives: Raymond Williams defines culture “as a whole way of life”, thus offering the leitmotif of Anglo-American cultural studies, which dissolves the boundary between everyday culture and high culture and thereby significantly influences the European debate.

Another broad definition is the definition of culture used by UNESCO. It describes culture as “the whole complex of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features that characterise a society or social group” (including modes of life, value systems, religious and other beliefs and traditions). The British “All Our Futures” report, which introduces the Creative Partnerships programme, describes culture as shared values and patterns of behaviour that characterise various social groupings and communities. Behind this is a multicultural and multi-ethnic society in which cultural diversity is understood as a central idea of social and cultural policy.

In Western Europe, particularly in the German-speaking countries, culture has up to now been seen as a tradition within the context of the history of ideas, a tradition which follows the ideal of the “cultivated person” held by educated middle-class intellectuals since the mid-18th century. In this context, high culture is considered an educational treasure, to which everyday culture and popular culture are seen, at times, in alarming contrast. Nevertheless, traditional, outdated cultural concepts have for some time been dissipating in the wake of a plurality of life styles that no longer submits to any binding canon of high art as a matter of course. To this extent, an up-to-date concept of cultural education is based on the assumption that there are areas of interaction at the interfaces of everyday culture and so-called high culture.

The ability to enter into intercultural dialogue and transcultural understanding will decide our future. When we speak of culture and education today, we have to take into account global migrations, worldwide communication networks, international business groups and the problem of poverty, which concerns all societies. Europe, both as a cultural area and as an economic area, needs qualified citizens with intercultural competence, interest in linguistic diversity, the willingness to partake in innovative lateral thinking, a vigorous sense of social awareness and the capacity to act with solidarity. It is evident that diversity and a multicultural environment tend to stimulate creativity. The dialogue between the cultures and the discussion of similarities and differences – in other words, of Europe’s diversity – is the basis for harmonious and peaceful co-existence. It creates quality of life and opportunities for development for everyone and strengthens our sense of responsibility for a united Europe and for the world as a whole. Educational policy that has as its goal tolerance and mutual understanding has the potential to transform the increasing multiculturalism of European societies into an asset for creativity, innovation and growth.

Cultural education thus implies opening up our society by means of art and culture.

Open forms of learning and shared creative processes create space for encounters and for dealing constructively with differences. This space has physical, intellectual, sensual, emotional and social dimensions. Cultural education cannot simply be prescribed. It requires a new culture of teaching and learning, which

• is open and cooperative both internally and externally,

• focuses on the needs of the pupils,

• is open to innovative, interdisciplinary work and

• is project-oriented.

In this sense, the Austrian Minister of Education Dr. Claudia Schmied describes cultural education as a central motif of the current development of the school system. It is a common concern and a dynamic process involving parents, pupils, teachers, school administrations, artists, cultural educators and the societal environment as well as the industrial, political and administrative sectors. Quality in cultural education is achieved by means of exchange and partnerships; a major factor in achieving such quality is thus the ability to cooperate.

The European goals - equality of opportunity for all, cosmopolitanism and justice - have to lead the way.

Europe has a mandate relating to educational and cultural policy: But above and beyond the colourful practice of projects developed and implemented by dedicated educators, and apart from philosophic discourse, cultural education requires

• a suitable infrastructure,

• financial and human resources,

• discourse among experts about content and objectives and

• the appropriate political framework conditions. In this context, measures are needed in the area of cultural and educational policy, for example,

• the coordination of individual measures,

• advocacy and lobbying,

• an intensification of European cooperation,

• structural safeguarding of cultural education programmes in the schools and outside them, and

• research funding. In conclusion, I should like to mention a number of examples of individual, committed initiatives, measures, institutions and advocates of cultural education in Europe:

• UNESCO, Road Map for Arts Education. Developed within the framework of the World Conference on Arts Education: Building Creative Capacities for the 21st Century, Lisbon, 6–9 March 2006

• Kultur-Rucksack, Norway. The “Culture Rucksack” is a state programme aimed at bringing elementary school pupils in contact with the professional art sphere.

• Cooperations Wiltz Luxemburg;

• Creative Partnerships. A programme of the arm’s length organisation Arts Council England for schools in poor or disadvantaged areas, aimed at developing the creative abilities of young people and strengthening their self-confidence and motivation; a cooperation of pupils, teachers and creative practitioners.

• Cultuurnetwerk Nederlands. Network of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands.

• Culture and School Network of civil servants from cultural and educational administrations:

• Canon Cultuurcel. Cultural entity of the Flemish Ministry of Education. Objective: promotion and networking of the sphere of art and culture with teachers, pupils and extracurricular youth work.

• Arts Awards. Qualification certificate awarded by the Arts Council England and Trinity Guildhall College. Individual learning programme which supports young people in their development as artists and arts leaders.

• Kompetenznachweis Kultur. A “cultural qualification” certificate for children and young people, coordinated by the Bundesvereinigung kulturelle Jugendbildung (German federal association of cultural youth education).

• CKV-Bonnen. Gutscheine für Kultur. Voucher system of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands that helps pupils and teachers finance participation in cultural activities.

• EDUCULT. An independent institute for culture and education in Vienna, Austria. Goal: To interlink culture and education in theory and practice.

• KulturKontakt, Vienna, Austria. Centre of excellence for cultural education, cultural dialogue and educational cooperation with Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe.


Contemporary art embraces a wide variety of movements, theories, and attitudes particularly in a tendency to reject traditional, historical, or academic forms and conventions in an effort to create an art more in keeping with changed social, economic, and intellectual conditions.

Recent developments in art have been characterised by a significant expansion of what can now deemed to be art, in terms of materials, media, activity and concept.

The work of contemporary artists is a dynamic combination of materials, methods, concepts, and subjects that challenges traditional boundaries and defies easy definition. Diverse and eclectic, contemporary art is distinguished by the very lack of a uniform organizing principle, ideology, or -ism. In a globally influenced, culturally diverse, and technologically advancing world, contemporary artists give voice to the varied and changing cultural landscape of identity, values, and beliefs.

Contemporary audiences play an active role in the process of constructing meaning about works of art. Some artists often say that the viewer contributes to or even completes the artwork by contributing his or her personal reflections, experiences, opinions, and interpretations. One of the cornerstones of the Art 21st century philosophy is to allow artists to present their work in their own words and to encourage viewers to access their own abilities to consider, react, and respond to visual art.

Contemporary art reflects a wide range of materials, media, and technologies, as well as opportunities to consider what art is and how it is defined. Artists today explore ideas, concepts, questions, and practices that examine the past, describe the present, and imagine the future. In light of such diversity, there is no simple or singular way to define contemporary art. Often recognized for the absence of a uniform organizing principle, ideology, or label, contemporary art can often seem overwhelming, difficult, or so simple that the viewer might wonder if they are missing something.

The drastic suggestion by Peter Timms is good and almost the only solution to the current situation, «...we need to shut down the so-called arts industry, drive off the money-changers, hucksters and strikers, and acknowledge that art is not merely a business, an entertainment, an expression of national pride, or a substitute for political action, but a means of asking serious and profound questions about who we are, where we have come from, and where we might be going».

Indeed, Art should on the contrary – to tear people away from the darkness of hate and depravity, from mercantile spirit and materialism, to stop the degradation. The true destiny and purpose of art – to give hope, to illuminate our path, to gift the light joy, to educate, inspire and elevate everybody, to give sense of life, filled our souls with love, beauty, goodness and light. Only Culture and Art can do it for all us and can do much larger..! Not for nothing that even in the culture of ancient Greece into the obligatory education program included all kinds of arts. It's not just like that! Culture and Art stand on guard that we don't forgot and not lost in the vanity of life the main knowledge and eternal values, because Culture and Art are the great eternal world heritage, divine knowledge, the supreme beauty, laws of the universe, in which there are answers to all questions and which contains the true moral values and called upon to inspirit and direct of humanity to the path of enlightenment and spiritual development.


• H. H. Arnason, History of Modern Art (5th Edition). NY: Prentice Hall, 2003

• Emma Dexter, Vitamin D: New Perspectives in Drawing. NY: Phaidon, 2005

• Karl Ruhrberg, et al. Art of the 20th Century. New York: Taschen, 2000

• David Hopkins, Art after Modern Art, 1945-2000. Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2000. ISBN: 019284234X

• Tyler Cowen, In Praise of Commercial Culture (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1998)

• Ian Robertson, Understanding International Art Markets and Management. NY and London: Routledge, 2005

• Mark Taylor, The Moment of Complexity: Emerging Network Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001

• Elena Uzun – «Free Dance of Radu Poclitaru». – Ch.:Cuşnir & Co : ELAN INC, 2012

• Consiliul Europei, 2005. Convenţia-cadru a Consiliul Europei referitoare la valoarea moştenirii culturale pentru societate, Consiliul Europei Tratat Seriile Nr. 199, Faro, 27 Octombrie 2005

• Consiliul Europei, 2008. Carta albă a dialogului intercultural: “Traiul comun ca egali în demnitate”. Lansată de Consiliul Europei Miniştri ai Afacerilor Externe la cea de-a 118-a sesiune ministerială, Strasbourg, 7 Mai 2008

• Bamford, A., 2009. O introducere în evaluarea educaţiei artistice şi culturale. Lucrare nepublicată realizată de Creativitate, Cultură şi Educaţie (CCE). Raportul a format baza recomandărilor adoptate de grupul de Coordonare a Metodei Deschise a UE referitoare la sinergiile dintre cultură şi educaţie în iunie 2009

• Experiments in Art and Technology (1972). Pavilion. New York: E. P. Dutton

• Davis, Douglas (1974). Art and the Future. New York: Praeger Publishers

• Benthall, Jonathan (1972). Science and Technology in Art Today. New York: Praeger Publishers

• Gere, Charlie (2002). Digital Culture. London: Reaktion Books

• Hansen, Mark B. N. (2004). New Philosophy for New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

• Banks, J. A., & McGee Banks, C. A. (2010). Multicultural education: Issues and perspectives (7th ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons

• Clark, R. (1996). Art education: Issues in postmodernist pedagogy. Reston, VA: National Art Education Association

• Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1997). Assessing aesthetic education. Grantmakers in the Arts

• Arts and Cultural Education at School in Europe:

• European Union Of Arts is on Facebook:

• What is the Main Characteristic of Modern Art:

• When Did Modern Art End? What Replaced it:

• What are the Most Important Movements of Modern Art:

• Who are the Greatest Modern Artists:

• What is the difference between contemporary and modern arts:

• What are the Main Contemporary Art Movements:


Arta contemporană (de la postmodernism până în prezent) este considerată succesoarea artei moderne (perioadă cuprinsă între impresionism și postmodernism). Delimitarea este mobilă și poate avea în vedere puncte de radicalizare a limbajului plastic; cubismul și ulterior arta abstractă răstoarnă modul în care fusese realizată și receptată opera.

Arta modernă va trece printr-o perioadă puternică de abstractizare în care formele și culorile devin actorii principali ai operei, lunecând către arta abstractă și ulterior către curentele conceptuale.

Arta contemporană reprezintă un amalgam de reacții și curente care inventează sau refolosesc moștenirea bogată a artei. Se pictează pop, impresionist, expresionist, se realizează lucrări de artă abstractă, performance sau orice alt tip întâlnit.

Revolutia tehnico-stiintifica a schimbat radical conditiile materiale si modul de viata a oamenilor, mai ales din tarile industrial dezvoltate. La dezvoltarea culturii a contribuit substantial explozia informationala. Datorita inovatiilor tehnice (radioul,televiziunea,presa cinematograful,aparatura audio si video, banda magnetica, faxul, posta electronica), informatia circula rapid, patrunzind in toate domeniile vietii sociale. Mass-media (presa,radioul,televiziunea.), fac accesibile oamenilor atit valori culturale universale, cit si cele nationale ale fiecarui popor.

Caracteristica din ce în ce mai pregnantă a societăţilor contemporane este libera circulaţie a informaţiei. Aceasta, alături de schimbările sociale produse şi împreună cu creşterea importanţei culturii în societate, au creat nevoia unei mai bune înţelegeri a modului în care cultura este legată de viaţa economică şi socială. Noile valori culturale, mutatiile profunde din viata spirituala au oferit oamenilor posibilitati de a practica diverse forme de activitate. Un salt nou calitativ face invatamintul: creste numarul tinerilor cu studii superioare, care ocupa un loc important in structurile societatii contemporane, este organizata instruirea permanenta a oamenilor de stiinta si cultura, a persoanelor care participa la producerea bunurilor materiale, la dirijarea productiei. Stiinta se transforma in forta nemijlocita a productiei.

2009 este Anul European al Creativităţii şi Inovaţiei şi este o recunoaştere a legăturilor dintre conştientizarea culturală şi creativitate. Anul se referă la teme, cum ar fi cultivarea artistică şi a altor forme de creativitate, la toate nivelele şi formele de educaţie. În acelaşi timp, Rezoluţia Parlamentului European din 2009 asupra Studiilor Artistice din Uniunea Europeană are în vedere recomandări cheie pentru dezvoltarea educaţiei artistice şi cere o mai mare coordonare a educaţiei artistice la nivel european.

Educaţia în ţările europene este supusă multor cerinţe competitive, care au influenţă asupra organizării şi conţinutului educaţiei artistice. Globalizarea în creştere a adus atât beneficii, cât şi provocări, incluzându-le pe acelea apărute din competiţia internaţională, migraţie şi multiculturalism, progresele în tehnologie şi dezvoltarea economiei cunoaşterii.

Aceste dezvoltări supun educaţia artistică unui număr de provocări, aşa cum au fost evidenţiate de dezbateri prin politică şi cercetare. Argumentare pentru studiu: contextul politic şi de cercetare Organizaţiile internaţionale au arătat un interes crescut în educaţia artistică în ultimii ani, de aici rezultând dezvoltări de politici cheie, care formează baza acestui studiu.

Conceptul de «Arta» este subiect al nenumăratelor studii teoretice atât din domeniul sociologiei cât şi din filozofie şi alte ştiinţe umaniste. Totodată, arta este parte din viaţa noastră, iar măsura ei este la fel de îndreptăţită să facă obiectul de interes al statului ca orice alt element al vieţii sociale.

Natalia Rojcovscaia

#contemporary #art #music #europe #education #tendencies

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