Cultural Engineering Group

Services & Ressources en ingénierie culturelle

Protéger les artistes et la diversité des contenus culturels sur Internet

Dans un communiqué de presse de l’Unesco, les représentants de 144 pays et l’Union européenne ont approuvé un ensemble de directives opérationnelles sur la culture contemporaine dans l’environnement numérique. Leur objectif : aider les pays à veiller à ce que les artistes et les producteurs bénéficient pleinement et équitablement du potentiel des technologies de l’information aux étapes de la création, production et distribution.

« Ces directives sont un moyen de s’assurer que l’environnement numérique puisse tenir ses promesses en tant que moteur d’une société inclusive et créative  », s’est félicitée la Directrice générale de l’UNESCO, Irina Bokova dans le communiqué de presse.

Ce texte sur la mise en œuvre de la Convention dans l’environnement numérique a été approuvé le 15 juin par les Parties à la Convention de l’UNESCO sur la protection et la promotion de la diversité des expressions culturelles lors de leur réunion biennale au Siège de l’UNESCO.

Les directives répondent à la nécessité de garantir une offre de contenus culturels sans discrimination quant à la provenance, la langue ou les facteurs sociaux. Elles réaffirment également la nécessité de respecter les droits de l’homme dans l’environnement numérique, notamment la liberté d’expression, la liberté artistique et l’égalité des genres.

La révolution numérique « modifie fondamentalement les industries culturelles »

Les directives sont le fruit de cinq années de recherche et de débat avec des experts, des gouvernements et la société civile sur les défis et le potentiel créés par l’expansion des réseaux sociaux et des contenus générés par les utilisateurs, la prolifération des appareils multimédias et l’émergence de puissantes entreprises opérant sur le web.

De fait, de nouveaux modèles commerciaux sont nécessaires dans l’environnement numérique, par exemple, pour le commerce électronique et la diffusion en temps réel (streaming), ainsi que des politiques renforcées pour protéger le droit d’auteur.
Comme l’indique le Rapport de l’UNESCO « Re|penser les politiques culturelles », la révolution numérique a profondément transformé les industries culturelles. Dans le même temps, tous ne possèdent pas les infrastructures nécessaires (les appareils et la connexion Internet) et les artistes n’ont pas toujours les connaissances techniques pertinentes.

Ainsi, les directives présentent également des pistes pour les gouvernements qui souhaitent exploiter otentiel de l’environnement numérique pour le développement de leurs industries culturelles et créatives.

Soutenir la future génération d’artistes 

La nécessité de protéger la liberté sur Internet tout en garantissant la juste rémunération des producteurs de contenus fait depuis peu l’objet d’une attention accrue, en particulier grâce à la société civile. Le 12 juin, plusieurs représentants de la société civile ont demandé à la communauté internationale de renforcer la législation dans le monde entier. Cela s’est produit lors d’un événement co-organisé par l’UNESCO et la Confédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Auteurs et Compositeurs (CISAC), qui représente quatre millions d’artistes à travers le monde.

La cinéaste norvégienne et Ambassadrice de bonne volonté de l’UNESCO, Deeyah Khan, a décrit les difficultés financières auxquelles sont confrontés de nombreux artistes en déclarant que « dans aucune autre profession, on ne s’attendrait à ce que vous travailliez gratuitement  ». Le compositeur français Jean-Michel Jarre, Ambassadeur de bonne volonté de l’UNESCO et Président de la CISAC, a ajouté que « nous avons besoin, de toute urgence, d’un nouveau modèle commercial pour assurer une rémunération équitable des artistes, au risque de ne pouvoir voir le prochain Victor Hugo, Coldplay ou Stanley Kubrick  ».

Contact presse: Roni Amelan, Service de presse de l’UNESCO, r.amelan@unesco.org

Classé dans:Gouvernances, Ingénieries, Politiques culturelles, , , , , ,

Mapping the creative value chains – A study on the economy of culture in the digital age

The study maps the different value chains for visual arts, performing arts, cultural heritage, artistic crafts, book publishing, music, film, TV and broadcasting as well as multimedia.

The study also examines how the competitive position of CCS is affected by digitisation. From creation to consumption, all steps in the value chains have been influenced by new digital solutions. They have brought about new opportunities for innovative practices and new ways of interaction with audiences, but also challenges such as piracy and an increased pressure on existing models of remuneration and value creation. The study discusses aspects related to competitive dynamics, market imperfections, rights management, cultural diversity and other issues of importance to today’s cultural and creative sectors.

Based on the analysis and supported by an online crowdsourcing process with experts and stakeholders, the study puts forward recommendations to policy-makers on what is needed for the CCS in today’s digital world.

Classé dans:Non classé, , , , ,

Premier panorama mondial de l’économie de la culture et de la création

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Avec des recettes d’un montant de 2 250 milliards de dollars, les secteurs culturels et créatifs représentent 3% du PIB mondial et emploient 29,5 millions de personnes (soit 1% de la population active mondiale).

Les secteurs culturels et créatifs (ICC) génèrent des revenus supérieurs à ceux des services de télécommunications au niveau mondial (2 250 milliards de dollars US contre 1 570 milliards de dollars US) et emploient plus de personnes que l’industrie automobile en Europe, au Japon et aux États-Unis réunis (29,5 millions contre 25 millions). Cette contribution majeure des secteurs culturels et créatifs à l’économie mondiale est l’objet d’une nouvelle étude réalisée par EY (auparavant Ernst & Young) et conjointement présentée ce jour par la Confédération internationale des sociétés d’auteurs et compositeurs (CISAC) et l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour l’éducation, la science et la culture (UNESCO) au siège de l’UNESCO à Paris (France).

L’étude, première du genre au niveau mondial, conclut que pour bénéficier pleinement du potentiel économique des ICC, les créateurs doivent être équitablement rémunérés pour l’utilisation de leurs œuvres créatives, et ce afin qu’ils puissent continuer de contribuer à la culture et à l’économie. En ce qui concerne l’économie numérique plus particulièrement, les décideurs politiques doivent prêter attention à la question du transfert de la valeur qui favorise actuellement les intermédiaires techniques, afin de garantir que les auteurs et les secteurs culturels et créatifs soient rémunérés à leur juste valeur pour l’exploitation de leurs œuvres.

Pour la Directrice générale de l’UNESCO Irina Bokova

Les secteurs culturels et créatifs sont un moteur essentiel des économies des pays développés et en développement. Ils font en effet partie des secteurs qui connaissent la croissance la plus rapide et influencent la création de valeur, la création d’emplois et les recettes d’exportation. Ils peuvent contribuer à garantir un avenir meilleur dans de nombreux pays à travers le monde”

Les œuvres créatives sont un moteur essentiel de l’économie numérique

En 2013, les œuvres créatives ont contribué à hauteur de 200 milliards de dollars aux ventes numériques mondiales, augmentant considérablement les ventes d’appareils numériques et la demande de services de télécommunications à haut débit. Les ventes de biens culturels numériques ont généré 65 milliards de dollars, et 21,7 milliards de revenus publicitaires, pour les médias en ligne et les sites de streaming gratuit.

Premier panorama mondial de l’économie de la culture et de la création

L’étude fournit des données uniques dressant le panorama d’un monde créatif multipolaire. Elle reflète la diversité que défend la Convention de 2005 de l’UNESCO sur la protection et la promotion de la diversité des expressions culturelles, et participe aux efforts de l’UNESCO au niveau mondial qui visent à fournir « plus de données et d’indicateurs pertinents sur le rôle de la culture dans le développement des sociétés »

Ce premier panorama mondial de l’économie de la culture et de la création montre que les créateurs du monde entier, dans tous les domaines artistiques, contribuent fortement à l’économie mondiale, tant en termes de revenus que d’emplois. Les créateurs doivent être en mesure de travailler dans un environnement qui protège leurs droits économiques et moraux afin de pouvoir poursuivre leur activité créative. Nous espérons que cette étude agira comme un révélateur pour les décideurs du monde entier : protéger les créateurs, c’est protéger l’économie. Nos secteurs culturels et créatifs contribuent à construire des économies durables, créent des emplois au niveau local, génèrent des revenus et des impôts, et permettent à des millions de personnes, en majorité des jeunes, de vivre de leur talent créatif”,

a souligné Jean-Michel Jarre, Président de la CISAC et Ambassadeur de bonne volonté de l’UNESCO.

L’économie de la culture et de la création en chiffres

Le panorama mondial réalisé par EY « La culture dans le monde – Premier panorama mondial de l’économie des secteurs culturels et créatifs » analyse 11 secteurs* (CCI) en Asie-Pacifique, en Europe, en Amérique du Nord, en Amérique Latine, et en Afrique et au Moyen-Orient. Dans chaque région, les secteurs créatifs ont leurs propres forces.
Asie-Pacifique : 34 % des revenus des CCI au niveau mondial. 40 % des emplois avec la plus grande base de consommateurs et une classe moyenne en pleine expansion. Leader du jeu vidéo. Croissance rapide de l’industrie du livre et du cinéma.
Europe : 32 % des revenus des CCI au niveau mondial. 25 % des emplois. L’économie culturelle est ancrée dans l’histoire, soutenue par l’opinion publique, une population très instruite et une forte concentration de créateurs.
Amérique du Nord : 28 % des revenus des CCI au niveau mondial. 15 % des emplois. Forte influence internationale et leader dans les domaines du cinéma, de la télévision et du spectacle vivant.
Amérique Latine : 6% des revenus des CCI au niveau mondial. 16% des emplois. La télévision est reine. Les émissions de télévision d’Amérique Latine s’exportent dans le monde entier, de même que la musique et la danse.

Afrique et Moyen-Orient : 3 % des revenus des CCI au niveau mondial. 8 % des emplois. Opportunités dans la production de films, la télévision et la musique. L’économie informelle, par exemple les concerts de musique non officiels, représente une part significative de la scène culturelle et constitue un réservoir d’emplois.

  • Pour télécharger l’étude dans son intégralité (en anglais), cliquez ici.
  • Pour télécharger la synthèse (en français), cliquez ici.

* Publicité, architecture, livre, jeux vidéo, musique, cinéma, journaux/magazines, spectacle vivant, radio, télévision, arts visuels.

Contact Media
Cécile ROY – CISAC Director of Communications cecile.roy@cisac.org | +33 1 55 62 08 50

Classé dans:Analyses, Outils, Politiques culturelles, , , ,

CULTURALLIA 2015 is about to start !

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CULTURALLIA 2015, the international B2B forum, will be held on 14th, 15th and 16th October 2015 as part of Mons 2015 – European Capital of Culture.

CULTUR@LLIA 2015 is a special version of FUTURALLIA (an international B2B forum that has been running for over 20 years) focusing on creative & cultural Industry and ICT, in keeping with the theme of Mons 2015 – Where technology meets culture.

The concept is simple : companies add their profiles to an online catalogue and enjoy the benefits of a timetable of pre-planned business meetings with other participants over the course of 2 days dedicated to partnership.

The Walloon partnership group (HAINAUT DEVELOPPEMENTSPICCILB et BEP) is the official partner of the FUTURALLIA network for Wallonia, and is organising CULTUR@LLIA 2015 in partnership with the Mons 2015 Foundation, the City of Mons and the Walloon Agency for Export and Foreign Investment (AWEX).

The goal is to bring together 500 Belgian and foreign companies from all sectors involved in culture and ITC.

The event is promoted among businesses via extensive networks of international partners (FUTURALLIA, AWEXEnterprise Europe Network, specific culture/ITC networks).

The forum will be held in the Mons Conference Centre and in the Lotto Mons Expo.

Please click here to find out about the program.

Classé dans:Evénements, Ressources, , , , , ,

Creative Transition towards Sustainability

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3-day Interdisciplinary PhD Workshop from 3rd – 5th of November 2014 Design – Architecture – Engineering – Natural, Social and Cultural Sciences.

Sustainability is the main challenge of this century. How to deal with global crises like climate change, energy- and resource scarcity or related social conflicts? How is a good life possible for all people on a finite planet? Technological/industrial innovations or economic growth are not by themselves sufficient answers to such questions. What we need is a holistic and systemic approach in combination with a fundamental change of our production/consumption structures and behavioural patterns.

In a three day workshop, experts and PhD students from different European countries and disciplines will come together for an intensive exchange about strategies and specific possibilities of societal transformation towards more sustainable lifestyles. Through a dialogue between observers and analysts of the transformation on the one hand, and designers of the transformation on the other hand, the workshop promotes an intensive relationship between theory and praxis. The PhD Workshop therefore addresses different disciplines e.g. social, economic and cultural scientists, architects, product-designers, engineers. Best practice projects (e.g. living labs in Barcelona) will be presented and examined from an interdisciplinary perspective.

As the behaviour of individuals is strongly influenced by the design of the world we live in, the transformation of lifestyles needs a corresponding transformation of design, architecture and engineering together with a comprehensive re-definition of the concepts of ‚service‘ and of the production and ‚consumption system‘. Modern design is often object-oriented and underestimates the ecological, social and cultural environment. In contrast, this workshop looks for the complex interconnections between designed objects, products and services and their contribution to a creative transformation towards sustainability.

Call for abstracts:

We invite PhD students (and possibly some advanced Master students) from all disciplines conducting research related to the workshop theme „Creative transition towards sustainability“ and with a strong interest in scientific work, to submit an abstract in order to be selected for participation in this transdisciplinary event.
As the goal is to hand in the final paper to a scientific peer-reviewed journal, the applicants are expected to have informed themselves about possibilities for publishing their paper drafts.

Venue

UPC- Barcelona Tech is the second biggest university in Spain. The ETSAV School of Architecture at Sant Cugat del Vallés (www.etsav.upc.edu) is a well recognized centre in the field of sustainable architecture and urbanism with a wide range of initiatives. This includes for example its Living Lab for Sustainable Architecture and Lifestyle (www.livinglab-low3.blogspot.com), which will also be the main venue of the workshop.

Applications:

Applicants should send an abstract (max. 500 characters) about their on-going research work together with a letter of application/motivation and a short CV. An expert committee will select the most suitable contributions according to their quality in relation to the workshop topic.
A general explanation of the abstract and paper are included as an annex.

Methodology:

The workshop will combine theoretical sessions (presentations of research work, experts input, round table sessions) with practical work (living lab exploration, co-creation activities, group work) in order to create a lively atmosphere for a productive interdisciplinary exchange.

Expected outcomes:

Experts will assess participants in their research work to enable discussing specific aspects in small groups. The publication of papers will be prepared.

Recognition:

The Summer School committee will issue a certificate of successful attendance.

Deadlines:

Submission of abstracts and application letter: 15th of September 2014 Notice of acceptance: 30th of September 2014.
Submission of full paper (draft) or presentation: 1st of October 2014

(see also template for paper and abstract).

Fee:

280€Euro (includes 3-day workshop, 3 coffee breaks, 3 lunches and 3 dinners). Not included are: Flight, accommodation, breakfast and further travel costs.

Accommodation:

Accommodation in Barcelona centre can be found individually e.g. through the following websites: http://www.booking.com, http://www.apartmentbarcelona.com, http://www.bcn-stay.com or similar.
Student apartments might be available on short notice at the campus for 35€/night in a double room. Please contact us for further information.

Contact:

For all applications and contacts please write to: sustainablesummerschoolbcn@gmail.com

Classé dans:Evénements, Expériences, Gouvernances, Ingénieries, Politiques culturelles, , , , ,

Digital Culture, Networked Culture

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The 5th Ibero-American Culture Congress will cover some of the major challenges posed before the more traditional world of culture by the 2.0 revolution, and showcase the countless possibilities this new context offers the sector. One of the goals is to invite civil society to present and discuss its ideas. This meeting will be an opportunity for professionals, entrepreneurs, and public officials from the Ibero-American and European cultural sector to share their experiences.

Through this event an attempt is made to strengthen the ties linking cinema, literature, and music, without losing sight of the diversity of artistic manifestations and creative industries. Arising out of the Ibero-American Cultural Charter, with the aim of driving the Action Plan derived from it, the congress attempts to combine efforts to create an Ibero-American cultural space.

For more information, please visit: www.culturaiberoamerica.org/en/que-son-estos-congresos/zaragoza-2013/

Classé dans:Gouvernances, Politiques culturelles, , , ,

The Future of Cultural and Creative Industries in Europe : promoting smart, sustainable, inclusive growth

The cultural and creative sectors are a significant driver of growth and jobs in Europe. They offer a key source of creativity and innovation, as well as contributing significantly to social cohesion and well-being. Cultural and creative industries employ millions of people across the EU-27, contribute a substantial share to EU GDP and grow faster than the rest of the economy. In 2009, at EU-27 level, 3.6 million people were employed in the five main cultural sectors of economic activity, representing 1.7% of total employment, with the proportion of women working in the cultural sector being higher than in total employment.

The European Union’s objective of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth is at the heart of the Europe 2020 Strategy, a policy approach that will help Europe find innovative solutions in challenging times. Against this background, cultural statistics can serve to support the growing interest of policy-makers in culture and its role in society, the economy and the cohesiveness of Europe. As such, with a view to improve data collection and improve reliable statistics at the European level, the Working Group ESSnet-Culture was set up, publishing their final report in October 2012 which details their work on cultural statistics.

Furthermore, the EU’s Culture Programme (2007-2013), with a budget of €400m for projects and initiatives, sought to celebrate Europe’s cultural diversity and enhance its shared cultural heritage through the development of cross-border co-operation between cultural operators and institutions. The key objectives of promoting the cross-border mobility of those working in the cultural sector are to encourage the transnational circulation of cultural and artistic output and to foster intercultural dialogue.

As the Culture Programme approaches the end of its term, this timely international symposium will evaluate the extent to which these objectives have been achieved through cultural actions, exchanges between cultural bodies at the European level and the analysis and dissemination of activities. The symposium will allow delegates to gain an understanding of Creative Europe, a support programme for the cultural and creative sectors from 2014, aiming to safeguard and promote the industries.

Key speakers

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/index_en.htm Catherine Magnant, Head of Unit, Culture Policy, DG EAC, European Commission
http://www.interreg4c.eu/ Steve Harding, Coordinator, Cross-Innovation Project, Interreg IVC
http://www.keanet.eu/ Maria Iglesias, Head of Research Department, KEA European Affairs
http://www.howtogrow.eu/ecia/ Thierry Baujard, President, Media Deals and Advisor to Access to Finance WG of European Creative Industries Alliance
http://www.regiotwente.nl/netwerkstad/stedelijk-gebied/55-netwerkstad-twente Erik Stok, Senior Advisor Strategy, Netwerkstad Twente

 

More information here.

Classé dans:Non classé, , , ,

Call for papers : « Resilient territories: innovation and creativity for new modes of regional development »

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Faculty of Economics, University of Algarve, Faro(Portugal), 29th November 2013. Call for papers : « Resilient territories: innovation and creativity for new modes of regional development ».

 

Background

In a context of economic turbulence, resilient territories gained relevance for academics, planners and decision makers. Resilience can be understood as a non-equilibrium characteristic that facilitates a socio-economic system to recover from a negative impact by re-entering a former trajectory or by adapting a new trajectory that successfully deals with the external pressures. Resilience is also connected but not fully integrated in literature with more stabilized notions, such as innovation and creativity. The International Workshop in “Resilient territories” invites senior and early stage researchers, but also practioners, working in these topics, to debate the research and policy-making agenda, in a transdisciplinary perspective, for this particular field of innovation studies and regional science.

Economic Turbulence and Resilience

Europe is in a delicate situation. Contrasts of growing competitiveness and the lack of capacity to answer challenges from the recent economic turbulence in particular regions and countries created a sense of urgency to act on member-states cohesion.
One justification for this diversity within European Union regard the capacity to adapt to external shocks, to resist from negative impacts or to evolve to new socio-technical regimes, characteristics being studied in the last years by regional scientists to understand the set of dynamic conditions that create a more or less resilient territory. Resilience was thus a notion that was adapted from the study of ecological systems and other fields to the understanding of geographically embedded socio-economic systems. Resilience is often a characteristic connected to a threshold of socio-economic variety and specialization that facilitates a smooth adaptation for challenges. With the recent crisis, some regions have been dealing with this concept trying to guarantee by planning the adequate conditions for resilience.

Innovation


Innovation was a central European Union’s policy flagship that was also very influential in the last decades in science and technology studies. In particular, Innovation systems have been used as a framework to develop and implement policies in transnational, national, regional, local, and even sectoral contexts. An innovation system focuses a specific area or sector, where a group of actors are interconnected with the goal to innovate. The core of the system has the main function of innovation but has also a broader contribution for the growth and development. In this way, when analysing the innovation system it is important to understand actors and linkages that are directly connected to science, technology and innovation infrastructure, but also to understand the institutional architecture and a vast group of building blocks that are in the centre of the socio-economic profile of the region or state, providing the range of possibilities for adaptation and evolution.

Creativity

Contributions on the role of creativity in regional development have increased since 2002 Richard Florida’s best-selling book ‘The Rise of the Creative Class’ gained media and city planners attention. The ‘creative class thesis’ argues that the basis for territorial advantage is talent, and to enhance economic growth, places should develop, attract and retain creative people who can stimulate knowledge, technology and innovation, and thus, resilience. Creative people can be defined as a new emerging collective, the creative class. Fundamental to talent attraction and retention is the place quality, combining factors such as openness, diversity, street culture and environmental quality. Creative class members prefer places that are tolerant, diverse and open to new ideas. The place provides an eco-system in which diverse forms of creativity can root and flourish. The existence of culture and leisure that support particular lifestyles provides incentives for the location of people who like this quotidian. These factors, more or less intangible, structure institutions and an environment of ‘cosmopolitanism’ that influences the locational decision of talent.

Topics

  1. Theoretical contributions towards the integration of resilience, innovation, creativity and/or other relevant regional science branches
  2. Empirical studies focusing the conditions for resilient territories
  3. Smart specialization connections with creativity and innovation
  4. Impacts of talent and human capital in regional development
  5. Articulation of related variety and resilience
  6. Different forms of cosmopolitanism in innovation, creativity and resilience
  7. Clustering dynamics, and resilience
  8. Maritime economy and niches of excellence
  9. Comparative studies on institutional factors that shape resilience
  10. RIS3 instruments focused in innovation and creativity
  11. Policies implemented in resilient territories

Expected contributions of the conference

The conference intends to contribute for the definition and advancing of the scientific agenda in the topics of resilience, innovation and regional creativity. The stabilization of this agenda and the informed discussion about different conceptualizations is crucial for the alignment and engagement of the scientific community in the study of these crucial topics. The conference is also focused in informing policy and decision-makers, in different levels of action, about the advancements of conceptualization in these domains. This may have relevant impacts in the process of planning, designing new policy measures and instruments, specifically for the implementation of Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS 3), that can help the construction of more resilient territories in Europe. 
This workshop also integrates a focus group discussion about “Human Capital and Related Variety in the Maritime Economy” developed by HARVEST Atlantic – Harnessing all resources valuable to economies of seaside territories on the Atlantic, project co-financed by the European cooperation program INTERREG Atlantic Area, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Some information are attached below but more can be found on the conference website http://www.apdr.pt/evento_19/index.html

 

Including details of the Call for Papers http://www.apdr.pt/evento_19/papers.html

 

Any question please get in touch with local organisers: http://www.apdr.pt/evento_19/contacts.html

Source : Dr. Roberta Comunian, Department for Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King’s College London.

Dr. Roberta Comunian also published on CEG :

 

Classé dans:Evénements, Expériences, Gouvernances, Ingénieries, Outils, Politiques culturelles, , , , , , ,

European Idea Competition: Innovative Ideas for Cultural and Creative Sectors in Europe

@diversityThe @diversity Idea Competition is seeking 15 of the most original and innovative ideas for cultural projects that make use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to finance, produce, make available, disseminate and/or extract value from cultural contents. The ambition is to create an open laboratory to test new approaches dealing with cultural content for innovation and digital sharing. The aim is to explore new business models fostering the cultural diversity in Europe. The @diversity Idea Competition is open to every citizen in the European Union. You can apply either as an individual or as an organisation (for profit or non-profit), as long as you are, or your organisation is, established in one of the EU Member States.

Hand in your idea, convince the jury and win the @diversity Idea Award in Brussels. Together, through coaching and pitching, the winning ideas will be developed into business models that will shape the future of the European cultural and creative sectors.

If you and your team are 18-25 years old, you are given the unique opportunity to compete for the Young Culture Award in the @Diversity Idea Competition. The deadline is 19 August 2013.

For more information, please contact: The @diversity team, Derfflingerstr. 18, 10785 Berlin, Germany, tel.: +49 30 488 28 85 64, fax: +49 30 690 88 38 6; e-mail: info@at-diversity.eu; www.at-diversity.eu

Classé dans:Evénements, Expériences, Gouvernances, Ingénieries, Outils, Politiques culturelles, , , , ,

A third space for creative arts and creative industries ?

Beyond the Campus: Connecting Knowledge and Creative Practice Communities across Higher Education and the Creative Economy  (call for papers)

This research network is funded as part of the AHRC Connected Communities programme, to explore the connections and exchanges across different communities, in particular the academic community and creative/cultural sector practitioners, in relation to the creative economy. It aims to enhance understanding of how collaborations, partnerships and exchanges are built and established and consider how they can have greater impact on the cultural capacity of different places. The network will provide a platform for academics and practitioners to reflect on their work, practice and the impact of their collaborations. Network activities will generate a collection of case studies, interviews and other resource materials to be collated in an open access knowledge bank designed to reach a broader range of people becoming a shared point of reference when establishing new collaborations.

 

Contributing to the seminar

As part of the call for papers we are looking for two different kinds of contributions:

  • Research papers (maximum of 4) : these papers will provide a theoretical perspective or present research outcomes which help us understand the dynamics of interaction between higher education and the arts and cultural sector. Selected speakers will be given 20 minutes to present their research followed by 10 minutes for Q&A Papers will be made available before or after the seminar on http://www.creative-campus.org.uk
  • Case studies or reflections from practitioners, academics or policy makers (maximum of 6) : these shorter presentations (10 minutes) aim to creative opportunities for discussion of best practice, case studies and reflecting on the current relationships and modes of interaction between higher education and the arts and cultural sector. The presentations will be organised in panels and will be followed by group discussions.

More information here.

Birmingham City University – 6 November 2013

Deadline to submit your abstract: 3rd September 2013

Information: hecreativeconomy@gmail.com  or visit http://www.creative-campus.org.uk

 

Research Network Organisers: 

  • Dr. Roberta Comunian, Department for Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King’s College London
  • Dr. Abigail Gilmore, Centre for Arts Management and Cultural Policy at the University of Manchester

 

Local organisers

Dr. Paul Long, Reader in Media and Cultural History, Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research

Birmingham School of Media, Birmingham City University

 

Source : Dr. Roberta Comunian, Department for Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King’s College London.

Dr. Roberta Comunian also published on CEG :

 

Classé dans:Expériences, Ingénieries, Politiques culturelles, ,

A manifesto for the creative economy

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The UK’s creative economy is one of its great national strengths, historically deeply rooted and accounting for around one-tenth of the whole economy. It provides jobs for 2.5 million people – more than in financial services, advanced manufacturing or construction – and in recent years, this creative workforce has grown four times faster than the workforce as a whole.

But behind this success lies much disruption and business uncertainty, associated with digital technologies. Previously profitable business models have been swept away, young companies from outside the UK have dominated new internet markets, and some UK creative businesses have struggled to compete.

UK policymakers too have failed to keep pace with developments in North America and parts of Asia. But it is not too late to refresh tired policies. This manifesto sets out our 10-point plan to bolster one of the UK’s fastest growing sectors.

You can download the manifesto for the creative economy here.

Source : NESTA

Classé dans:Analyses, Expériences, Gouvernances, Ingénieries, Outils, Politiques culturelles, Ressources, , , ,

Creative industries, creative jobs and creative clusters: an evolutionary perspective

Creative industries

During the last decades an increasing interest can be observed among urban and economic geographers in creative industries, the creative economy, creative cities, as well as the creative class (Chapain et al. 2012). In addition to this increasing academic interest, testified by several recent special issues in journals such as Urban Studies, the Journal of Economic Geography, Regional Studies and the Creative Industries Journal, also policy-makers at several spatial levels (urban, regional, national, as well as supranational) try to find ways how to foster creative industries. Many studies focused both on the economic functions of creative industries, mainly in terms of employment, value-added production, and exports, as well as on their current organizational features. However, evolutionary and history-informed perspectives are often neglected (Rantisi et al., 2006), as well as explaining differences in dynamics between different creative industries in a regional context. Why is it that some creative industries grow fast in some regions while stagnate in other regions?

The aim of this session is therefore to shed a more evolutionary and dynamic light on creative industries in a local and regional context. In a similar vein as Comunian (2011) recently used complexity theory and complex adaptive systems to explain the development of creative industries in the North East of England, this session particularly welcomes abstracts linking theories used in other fields to shed a new, more dynamic light on creative industries. One potentially fruitful paradigm to draw on, in this context, is evolutionary economic geography (Boschma & Frenken 2011). In contrast to neoclassical theory, this school takes history and geography seriously by recognizing the importance of place-specific elements and processes to explain broader spatial patterns of technology evolution. In this session, therefore, we would like to explore whether notions of evolutionary economic geography, such as path creation, path dependence and co-evolution, can contribute to analyzing and explaining the spatial dynamics of creative industries.
We welcome both empirical, theoretical, as well as policy-related abstracts. The focus can be on any creative industries, such as publishing and literature, performing arts, music, film, video and photography, broadcasting, design, fashion, visual arts, advertising and interactive media as well as creative jobs. We also welcome abstracts that go beyond the narrow focus of creative clusters, namely those dealing with creative cities, the creative economy, as well as creative class in relation to creative industries.
Potential questions include:

  • How do creative industries in cities and regions develop through time?
  • How can we explain differences in dynamics between creative industries in a regional economy?
  • What is the impact of policies at several spatial levels on the dynamics of creative industries and jobs?
  • How can individual talents be fosted in the creative industries?
  • How can firms in creative clusters be fostered?
  • How does the national institutional context affect the development of creative industries in cities and regions through?

References

  • Chapain, C., Clifton, N., & Comunian, R. (2012) Understanding Creative Regions: Bridging the Gap between Global Discourses and Regional and National Contexts. Regional Studies, (ahead-of-print), 1-4.
  • Comunian, R. (2011) Rethinking the Creative City The Role of Complexity, Networks and Interactions in the Urban Creative Economy. Urban Studies, 48(6), 1157-1179.
  • Boschma, R., & Frenken, K. (2011). The emerging empirics of evolutionary economic geography. Journal of Economic Geography, 11(2), 295-307.
  • Rantisi N M, Leslie D, Christopherson S (2006) Placing the creative economy: scale, politics, and the material. Environment and Planning A 38(10) 1789 – 1797

Abstract Submission:
If you would like to contribute to this session, please send your abstract of not more than 250 words to Su-Hyun Berg (berg@geographie.uni-kiel.de) by Friday, 8th February 2013.

Organisers: 
Su-Hyun Berg (Dept. of Geography, University of Kiel, Germany)
Roberta Comunian (Dept for Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King’s College London)
Robert Hassink (Dept. of Geography, University of Kiel, Germany).

Source :

Creative Regions Network

Creative Industries in Europe is a Regional Studies Association Research Network

More information: www.creative-regions.org

Take part to the Creative Regions Summer School 2012
www.creative-regions.org.uk

 

Classé dans:Analyses, Expériences, Gouvernances, Ingénieries, Politiques culturelles, , , , ,

Why re.volution, and a theory of change as we set off

I’ve been lucky enough to work with Mission Models Money for some years now, in a number of ways –most recently as an associate. Their thinking has been instrumental in leading me to the considerations of cultural and broader ecologies that are reflected in my writing about adaptive resilience. Founder Clare Cooper is one of the most optimistic collapsitarians you are ever likely to meet, with energy to match her urgency.

So when I was asked to draw out the learning from the MMM pilot programme  ‘re-evolver’, and then to work on designing a peer learning network which could, ultimately, reconfigure the ways the sector meets its organisation development needs, I was pleased to get involved. It was absolutely what I’m up for: intellectually and politically challenging, as well as a stretching and stimulating creative task working with a great team of people,  – and with the potential for large-scale impact on the long-standing issues I felt I had grappled with during my time as a funder. How best to support people to be sustainable and culturally thrilling? How best to intervene? What’s best left to the sector itself?

The pilot programme brought 8 leaders together and worked through many creases in the idea of a network of leaders which would work on individual, organisational and sectoral issues through a spirit of mutuality – peers giving and getting. On one hand, it’s very simple, on the other, complex and rich but also deceptively hard to deliver.

The more we worked on it, the more I became convinced that re.volution, as it became known, has the power of a simple idea to tie together a number of MMM’s previous strands, including The People Theme and Capital Matters. The network has been designed to help people solve the problems of trying to do too much, with too little, too often on their own. It might, by doing that, just have the system wide effect we need.

Here’s our ‘theory of change’ in summary:

‘A peer learning network of leaders in the arts and cultural sector can develop the confidence, competencies, qualities and attributes needed to renew mission, reconfigure business model and revise approaches to money. They can provide, with appropriate experts from beyond the network, the insight to tackle urgent and long-term challenges, through learning opportunities including mentoring, peer support, on-line learning and face to face events. This will gradually build into a critical mass of leaders who will affect their own and other organisations and the sector as a whole, leading to measurable impact on reducing overextension and undercapitalisation across the sector and a radical, sustainable, reconfiguration of how business support and organisational development can be offered.’

Like all theories of change, it’s debatable and time (a long time for many aspects!) will tell how close reality sticks to it. Two bold funders have backed this vision so far, in the shape of Creative Scotland and Arts Council England. Not only have they invested in re.volution, they have been involved along the way in its co-design, given the importance of funder-behaviour to many of the aspects of the current and future ecology, so many thanks to them.

This is an experiment – as I say, time will tell to what extent it works, and we will of course adapt as we learn along the way. But we do need new ways of going at the wicked problems of over-extension and under-capitalisation in the cultural sector, so why not start with the people? It will be exciting finding out: as one peer in the pilot said  ‘It’s quite refreshing to do something that’s quite hard.’

Mark Robinson*

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*Mark Robinson runs Thinking Practice. He founded the company when he left Arts Council England after 10 years. Mark was Executive Director of Arts Council England, North East, from 2005-2010. Before that, he was Director, Arts & Development, having been Head of Film, Media and Literature at Northern Arts since 2000, where he was instrumental in the creation of Northern Film & Media. He writes regularly about arts strategy and policy on the Thinking Practice blog. This follows in the footsteps of his groundbreaking Arts Counselling blog. (Groundbreaking in that no one else from the Arts Council dared to write in that way.)

He was previously Director of Arts & Humanities at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Durham (1999-2000) where he researched and published on poetry, literature and education, arts and health, and community development. As Director of Cleveland Arts (1993-99) he set up the Teesside Arts in Education agency, amongst a wide variety of initiatives. Prior to this he worked as a freelance writer, literature development worker, writer-in-residence in a prison, directed the Writearound Festival and was an award-winning Head Chef in vegetarian catering.

Mark is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is also a widely published poet and critic. His most recent publication is A Balkan Exchange: 8 British and Bulgarian Poets (Arc 2007), the result of a long collaboration between North East England and Bulgaria. A Bulgarian translation of new work will appear in 2011. For 10 years he edited Scratch poetry magazine and press. In 2000 a film featuring one of his poems won a Regional Royal Television Society award.

 

Classé dans:Analyses, Gouvernances, Ingénieries, Politiques culturelles, , , , ,

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / Final

We are honoured and deligheted to publish Dr Roberta Comunian’s* last article engaging with the current research and debate about the creative city and the importance of cultural infrastructure in contemporary cities. It argues that much of the focus has been around the investment of cities in specific regeneration projects or flagship developments rather than addressing the nature of the infrastructures, networks and agents engaging in the city’s cultural development. The complexity theory and its associated principles can provide a new understanding of the connection between the urban space and the systems of local cultural production and consumption. Drawing on interviews with creative practitioners in the North East region of England, the paper argues that the cultural development of a city is a complex adaptive system. This finding has implication both for policy makers and academic research. It emphases the importance of micro-interactions and network between creative practitioners, the publicly supported cultural sector and the cultural infrastructure of the city.

6. Conclusions: rethinking the creative city

How can complexity theory help us rethink the structures and potential of the concept of the creative city? First, complexity interaction imposes a new way of looking at how local contexts and the cultural agents and actors of the city interact. It suggests that in order to evaluate or research the creative city, a multi-level approach must be kept in mind, to allow consideration of how different actors and institutions interact in the city.  The literature suggests that the creative industries have been characterised as “having a ‘hive mentality’, informally networked ‘scenes’ which can operate very effectively in some ways. But in others the very informality can be problematic in terms of policy development” (O’Connor, 2002, p.28). Much of the regeneration literature and policy action towards the creative city have been focussed on formal investments, large cultural flagship projects, and image. On the contrary, networks seem to be central to the delivery of a better and more sustainable support system which answers the needs of creative industries. However it also important not to limit support to the mainstream, established networks. and also support the more hidden or transient ones, as these can provide the vital first steps into the sector. For example, in the North East, along with supporting established organisation like New Writing North it is important to support smaller local networks of writers or people interested in literature, as in the case of the The Blue Room [i], where interaction occurs on a wider social level without implying any strong commitment.

Culture North East (2001) states in the Regional Cultural Strategy for the North East of England “the regional cultural strategy calls for agencies supporting the sector to be entrepreneurial and opportunistic in their approach, to help create an environment where there is serious investment in innovation and risk taking at the grass roots level, which supports a continuum from cultural activity to commercial activity and retains talent in the region” (p.27). The opposition between large capital investments in the region and support for local networks can become a challenge. Sometimes it possible to see that public money is more easily directed towards large institutions or infrastructures while networks represent a soft infrastructure which is difficult to define and to invest in.

This paper has attempted to use complexity theory to highlight some of the dynamics in the creative economy of a city against a common tendency towards reductionism, where the creative economy discourse is used as a mathematical formula which can be applied to all contexts and times. The arguments presented suggest that we should consider the creative and cultural factor as constitutive and grounded in the urban context rather than simply instrumentally additive to other urban discourses of economic growth.  Also, Ormerod (1998) argues the need for a less mechanistic approach to the study of economic phenomena: “Economies and societies are not machines. They are more like living organisms. Individuals do not act in isolation, but affect each other in complex ways” (Ormerod, 1998: x). As Landry (2000) recognises “successful cities seem to have some things in common – visionary individuals, creative organisations and a political culture sharing a clarity of purpose. They seemed to follow a determined, not a deterministic path”  (Landry, 2000, p.3).

New understandings of the dynamics of the creative economy need to be implemented. This new approach must bridge the gap between the top-down approach of policy making and investment in the cultural infrastructure of a city, with a grounded understanding of the emergent structures arising from actors and agencies interacting in the sector. As Green (2001) underlines the challenging aspect  of complexity theory when applied to social systems is that instead of seeing how a social system changes as being a function of how it is, it clearly acknowledges that how it changes – even those small little changes at the grassroots level – affects how it is, and how it subsequently change again. This should be the new challenge for researchers wanting to investigate the role of culture in urban environments.


[i] The Blue Room is a project supported by the Arts Council North East with the aim to “encourage new women – and men – writers to read their work, and promoting new audiences for live poetry and prose”  (from the website www.blueroom.org.uk) and consists of a serial of monthly informal events taking place in a local pub / venue.

_____

*Dr. Roberta Comunian is Creative Industries Research Associate at the School of Arts, University of Kent. Prior to this, she was lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Southampton. She holds a European Doctorate title in Network Economy and Knowledge Management. She is interested in: relationship between public and private investments in the arts, art and cultural regeneration projects, cultural and creative industries, creativity and competitiveness. She has been visiting researcher at University of Newcastle investigating the relationship between creative industries, cultural policy and public supported art institutions. She has previously undertaken research on knowledge transfer and creative industries within an AHRC Impact Fellowship award at the University of Leeds.

_________________

Previous chapters :

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 1

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 2

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 3

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 4

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 5

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 6

Classé dans:Analyses, Expériences, Gouvernances, Ingénieries, Politiques culturelles, , , , , ,

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 6

We are honoured and deligheted to publish Dr Roberta Comunian’s* last article engaging with the current research and debate about the creative city and the importance of cultural infrastructure in contemporary cities. It argues that much of the focus has been around the investment of cities in specific regeneration projects or flagship developments rather than addressing the nature of the infrastructures, networks and agents engaging in the city’s cultural development. The complexity theory and its associated principles can provide a new understanding of the connection between the urban space and the systems of local cultural production and consumption. Drawing on interviews with creative practitioners in the North East region of England, the paper argues that the cultural development of a city is a complex adaptive system. This finding has implication both for policy makers and academic research. It emphases the importance of micro-interactions and network between creative practitioners, the publicly supported cultural sector and the cultural infrastructure of the city.

5.3 Connectivity, interdependence and self-organisation.

A complex system is characterized by interaction and inter-connectivity of the agents of the system and between the system as a whole and its environment. The level of interaction generates the complexity. If one looks at the culture offered by a city, it is easy to see how different organisations build partnerships and collaborate on events and projects. The private and public sectors often come together, and the connectivity in the contemporary art and cultural scene arises from the overlapping and exchange between different art forms. One element that is perceived as a key factor for the development of this connectivity in the context of Newcastle-Gateshead has been the joint bid for the Capital of Culture title. Although the title was eventually awarded to Liverpool, the process behind the joint bid started to build dialogue between different organisations, and fostered a new ability to work together. Matarasso (2000) stresses the importance of the bidding process itself, specifically referring to Newcastle-Gateshead. It promoted the debate on the importance of culture; it encouraged the networking of cultural institutions, created partnerships and common goals and provided a strong experience in terms of acquiring competences for cultural planning and management which is long-lasting legacy in the urban context.

In the first 18 months I was here we worked in shared public projects with almost every cultural organisation in the city it was a very deliberate policy, we also opened the building to creative people, young people in the region, people who had no real access to other venues […] the first people were not filmmakers but DJs, poets, people working at the fringe of this medium (Director, Public Cultural Organisation, Newcastle Upon Tyne)

But the connectivity and interdependence runs not only at the macro-level of agencies and institutions, but also at the micro-level in the creation of networks between creative and cultural practitioners (see paragraph 5.5). Responding to emergent properties or to particular innovative and enabling contexts, a complex cultural system can experience self-organisation. In the context of cultural and creative practitioners, self-organisation seems to be a common trend. In particular through collectives of artists, voluntary run spaces and galleries, but also through networks which are run organically and developed from the grassroots by artists (see paragraph 5.5)

 

5.4 Emergent properties, qualities, patterns or structures.

One of the complexity aspects which also characterized the creative and cultural infrastructure of the city, is the emergence of specific structure that regulate and inform the environment.

These emerging structures can be identified with creative clusters (Pratt, 2004) and the development of organic and institutional networks to support and govern the cultural actors and their agencies.

The fast growth of the sector as a whole can be seen as an emergence pattern: “The North East has grown faster than any other region except Scotland, but from a lower base than any other region” (CURDS, 2001, p.23). As Allen (1997) suggests these emerging structures are not determined uniquely by the context and its parameters, but are also dependent on timing and specific external intervention. This is where the public cultural policy seems to play a role in the complex development of a creative economy (Hesmondhalgh, 2005; Pratt, 2005). Nevertheless, this intervention can only provide non-linear impacts on the context. As Allen (1997) suggests in terms of the traditional beliefs in planning, the concept of what policy can or should do needs to be completely revisited.

Feedback is one central element of all the aspects and dynamics of a system. It can be read both as positive or negative feedback mechanisms that regulate the stability of the system. If we look at the cultural infrastructure of an urban context, there are many feedback mechanisms at various levels. For certain elements and commercial aspects the market represents feedback regulating production and consumption. In the cultural economy feedback is also provided by a variety of gatekeepers (Caves, 2000) and mediators (Albertsen and Diken, 2003) which regulate the access to the production facilities, even though the new technologies seem to have weakened the strength of formal gatekeepers providing direct access to audiences and markets.

There are a number of institutional organisations which provide feedback on the creative economy, and public policy and public funding appear to be a strong reinforcement

I felt the big thing we were getting from the Arts Council for the gallery business was their experience of similar ventures, it was almost like a vote of confidence, if they were willing to invest some funding it meant that we are heading down the right track, you never really know, it was reassuring to hear that (Commercial Art Gallery, Northumberland)

Nevertheless, peer-to-peer support and review seem to also be an important structure for the development of innovation. “The learning and innovation capacity of CI businesses depends to a high degree on the wider learning and innovation capacity of these surrounding networks” (O’Connor, 2002, p.9).

5.5  Networks as emergent properties or frameworks for public policy

A large part of the literature relating to clusters and regional economic development suggests the importance of networks (Christopherson, 2002; Coe, 2000; Crewe, 1996; Ettlinger, 2003; Gordon and McCann, 2000; Grabher, 2002; Johns, 2006; Knox et al., 2005; Meusburger, 2000; Mossig, 2004; Neff, 2004; Sturgeon, 2003) and these arguments have been, on various occasions, interconnected with the urban cultural infrastructure through terms such as cultural quarters or cultural milieu. Although in the economic argument networks are important mainly in terms of inter-firm trade, the creative industries seem to rely on networks for other aspects as well. The network structure in the creative and cultural industries seems to provide access to the market, but also to support the exchange of ideas and social interaction that is instrumental to the development of their work. Artists and craft makers rely on the network as a market building strategy and as a marketing strategy in itself. One example, in the context of the North East, is Designed and Made, which promotes designers and makers in the region and helps them to establish a brand and a way to promote their work and their practice.

I think it is really important for the North East to show that this kind of work exists in the region, that there is work here which is pushing the boundaries, and unless you have something like Designed & Made, other regions, and the rest of the UK and the world won’t know about the North East and what is going on here (Designer and Maker, Newcastle Upon Tyne)

Another example is Network Artists. Artists use the network to promote their practice and through the open studios Art Tour project they even get direct access to the market to sell their work. Cohesion, the glass artists’ network started by the local authority of Sunderland, has a specific focus on promoting the market for glass art and does so by specifically investing in exhibitions and the participation of artists in art fairs.

Networks are emergent structures which function in terms of support for creative practitioners. Another useful dimension of the network is the support that people get out of it. On one hand it may be moral and psychological support, which as suggested by a jewellery maker, is often a response to the isolated work of the artists / makers.

On the personal level it was really good for me because I was new to the region and I did not know many people so I found it quite a life-line because it got me involved with the artistic community and it made me feel part of something […] I think it is really important because as an artist/designer people work on their own and feeling quite isolated, it makes you feel there is other people out there that you can share experiences with, you get ideas bouncing ideas to people, it just helps” (Designer and Maker, Newcastle Upon Tyne)

Creative industries hardly identify themselves with the mainstream business support offered by local agencies. On the contrary, they believe that the best people to provide support or business advice are the people who work in the same sector or have experience in their field; therefore the peer–to-peer support through formal and informal networks seem to be a means to create the personal support infrastructure which a creative practitioner needs.

The most important thing is mixing with other people, you can make do without all the services provided and business advice but the most valuable information comes from other people doing the same things as you who are a year or two years further down the line and can remember how it is like to be in your position but they worked through those problems and they can advise you on how to do things (Jewellery Designer and Maker, Newcastle Upon Tyne)

Creative industries tend to rely on different types of networks. Although they would attend events and be within the network of specific formal organisations, they also have a smaller network of peers with which they talk more often and from whom they would seek advice.

It seems that sometimes formal networks are considered useful but impersonal and too structured; they are more like professional development organisations than actual networks. As Kauffman (1993) suggests in reference to biological systems “ecosystems are not totally connected. Typically each species interacts with a subset of the total numbers of other species; hence the system has some extended web structure » (Kauffman 1993, p.255). One element which seems central is the social dimension of the network and the type of bond and experience that holds people together. In this respect, it is often the case that within large formal networks people form smaller and closer social networks.  “Connectivity between individuals or groups is not a constant or uniform relationship, but varies over time, and with the diversity, density, intensity and quality of interactions between human agents” (Mitleton-Kelly, 2003, p.6). As an artist who started a network in the Newcastle area suggested:

I thought the network would grow and become more established, but it remained quite organic and it is made by how much people want to interact with it. It is very organic, in this sense because, as a living organism, sometime it is very active and lots of things go on, some other times it is more quite and slow but this is how it should be because it is organic and it follows the will of people to interact with it (Visual artists network manager)

The emergence of organic networks alongside institutional ones presents some critical challenges. In fact, institutional networks seem to force the social networking, while in the organic networks the social aspects are spontaneous. Furthermore, as an artist suggests, organic networks seem to respond more directly to the need of the people involved in the sector, 

Yes it is very important, because it is artist-led we are making it what we need, we know what we need and we are making it that, coming from us it is going to be more relevant than if it was coming from people in the public sector, who have the best intentions but they do not work in the sector and they do not exactly what we need (Glass artist, Newcastle Upon Tyne)

Although networking is often considered part of business practice, people working in the creative industries do not always perceive the need to network as part of their business development. The traditional idea of networking is often considered conventional, and frequently implies mixing with people from very different contexts or business sectors, thus making it seem irrelevant. Conversely, the social dimension, and the trust relationship which can be built (Banks et al., 2000) are perceived as very important for the person and their work. Therefore, networking often takes place informally and as part of normal social interactions, such as sharing common spaces, meeting down at the pub etc.

it was a voluntary organisation, it was founded by two writers and had come from grassroots level, we used to have a meeting once a month, we would have a speaker in and then go down to the pub, it was fantastic, then when Northern Arts decided to have a new full-time officer, a professional came in […] it seems to me that everything now is so much more formal rather than informal, that kind of social network disappeared (Freelance scriptwriter, Newcastle Upon Tyne)

As suggested by O’Connor (2002) “these networks are underpinned by infrastructures of knowledge and expertise which do have formal, institutional dimensions, but equally are embedded in more amorphous social and cultural infrastructures – described as ‘soft infrastructure’, or ‘critical infrastructure’, or ‘creative infrastructure’. These last terms concern those informal networks, those place specific cultural propensities, those ‘structures of feeling’ which are very difficult to grasp, let alone strategically direct, but which nonetheless are crucial to the urban regional ‘innovative milieu’” (p.27).

 

5.6 Networks and support to the creative economy: new planning for the creative city

Considering the general use of the local networks of local creative industries it could be argued that supporting different networks and communicating through them could provide an effective structure for support. In fact, if we think about the development of some formal and informal networks in the North East, it seems clear that public policy and funding have considered them a strategic way to support and sustain the sector.

Some examples of this would be the Cohesion glass artists network, started by the Sunderland City Council, Designed and Made, started organically by a group of artists and makers and than supported by public funding from the Arts Council of England North East, the Aurora Project (a development network for arts and crafts) supported by Northumberland County Council and European Regional Development Funding, and New Writing North, which started organically, and was then institutionalised and supported by the Arts Council North East, and has become the writing development agency for the North East of England. The public sector sees these networks as a useful support infrastructure for a number of reasons. First, it allows the public sector to delivery information and support to different people by supporting one organisation. It is an efficient way to spread relevant information, organise meetings and seminars and involve the larger sector. Secondly, it creates a critical mass for people coming from the outside and looking for information or deciding whether to start up in a specific sector. It presents the region as a place where creative people are sharing knowledge and are supporting each other. Lastly, it makes public investments more sustainable: instead of investing in one single person the sector can present its investment as sustaining the whole sector. It is an efficient and effective way to promote the regional creative industries to the outside, presenting strength and the potential for further development. However this public support has also caused some undesirable side effects. On one hand it makes the network much more institutionalised and bureaucratic. In fact, if we consider how much interaction, support and participation come from social networks, turning them into public support organisation to deliver specific outcomes can be risky, and can change the nature and quality of the network itself. Another problem is the thinking that the network encompasses the whole sector and all of its actors. Because there is a network of artists or designers, the public sector tends to invest in the network and support it. The risk is that people who do not want to take part in the network, or simply do not fall into the remit of a specific network feel like outsiders, cut off from the possibility of further interaction.

_____

*Dr. Roberta Comunian is Creative Industries Research Associate at the School of Arts, University of Kent. Prior to this, she was lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Southampton. She holds a European Doctorate title in Network Economy and Knowledge Management. She is interested in: relationship between public and private investments in the arts, art and cultural regeneration projects, cultural and creative industries, creativity and competitiveness. She has been visiting researcher at University of Newcastle investigating the relationship between creative industries, cultural policy and public supported art institutions. She has previously undertaken research on knowledge transfer and creative industries within an AHRC Impact Fellowship award at the University of Leeds.

_________________

Previous chapters :

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 1

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 2

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 3

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 4

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 5

 

 

 

 

Classé dans:Analyses, Expériences, Gouvernances, Ingénieries, Politiques culturelles, , , , , ,

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 5

We are honoured and deligheted to publish Dr Roberta Comunian’s* last article engaging with the current research and debate about the creative city and the importance of cultural infrastructure in contemporary cities. It argues that much of the focus has been around the investment of cities in specific regeneration projects or flagship developments rather than addressing the nature of the infrastructures, networks and agents engaging in the city’s cultural development. The complexity theory and its associated principles can provide a new understanding of the connection between the urban space and the systems of local cultural production and consumption. Drawing on interviews with creative practitioners in the North East region of England, the paper argues that the cultural development of a city is a complex adaptive system. This finding has implication both for policy makers and academic research. It emphases the importance of micro-interactions and network between creative practitioners, the publicly supported cultural sector and the cultural infrastructure of the city.

5 The principles of complexity within an urban cultural system[i]

5.1 Urban cultural economy: spaces of transition

In the general literature about the creative city and urban regeneration there is always a strong element of change, a movement from the industrial to the post-industrial, flagship events or buildings designed to enable cities to turn grey pages of the past into bright futures. Nevertheless, very little attention is given to the phase of transition and the passage between the old and the new.  It can be argued that this is because there is in fact no such turning point, and the evolution of events and interaction in the urban cultural landscape evolves slowly, hardly ever experiencing a distinct turning point. In this respect, complexity theory uses very interesting terminology to describe how complex systems experience change. A system changes usually because some of the elements of the system create small changes that push the system « far-from-equilibrium”: “for a system to be innovative, creative, and changeable it must be driven far from equilibrium where it can make use of disorder, irregularity, and difference as essential elements in the process of change (Stacey, 1995, p.490). If we read the complex history of the decline of the industrial economy in our cities and the way in which certain cities have been developing within cultural and creative economies, it can be interpreted as the development of a new order coming from the existing conditions created by the system. Nevertheless, it is often the event, such as the European Capital of Culture or a specific investment, such as a new flagship museum, that is the main catalyst, and therefore the reason for the changes taking place. Many of the explanations and motivations for change are not sought for in the contexts of the way local actors experience transition or change, but instead change is somehow considered to be already there. Another interesting idiom found in complexity literature is the idea of « space of possibilities ». Again, none of the literature which looks at ‘creative cities’ and ‘urban regeneration’ consider the real spectrum of possibilities within an evolving urban context, and the majority of case studies presented in the literature are positive examples and good practice, which hardly take into consideration possibilities for a different development and the role of failure.

We are still in the post 2008 cultural capital bid, so it is a bit of time for reconsideration, reflection at the moment and I do not know how it will plan out, but I think it was good that we did not get 2008 in order to see what is the most sustainable, longer term cultural infrastructure and expectation for the region; we got a problematic balance in terms of the fact  that Culture 10 programme is much about big events and tourism development but what risks getting lost is some really good quality art programming and cutting edge in terms of the content. (Manager, Voluntary Sector Visual Art Organisation, Newcastle Upon Tyne)

 The exploration of the space of possibilities can be read at different levels. At the city level, it can be argued that different cities have seen in the support and development of culture economies and infrastructure the exploration of new possibilities and solutions for their competitiveness and development. This is true if we compare different urban strategies and strategic plans. It seems also quite important to understand to what extent the post-industrial decline, the crisis derived from it and its social implications have opened different spaces – from physical empty buildings to space for new organisations, such as regional development agencies or local trusts, to grow – for cities to think about their future.  This is explained by a local policy maker in the context of Newcastle-Gateshead referring to the political will of the council to bring about change in the city

the drive was very much from the public sector, particularly Gateshead Council, them to have the ambition and guts to say this is a region which has suffered for hundreds of years of decline, declining industry, mining, shipbuilding, high unemployment, not a lot going for itself, they have looked at alternative ways to reinvigorate the city (Public Sector Officer, Newcastle Upon Tyne)

But at the same time as we can consider the exploration of new possibilities at the city level, it seems to work at the individual level as well, where gaps and constraints result in different choices and innovative thinking

 I decided I did want to carry on being an artist […] I just realised that there was a very big gap in Newcastle for an artist run gallery, a project that came from an artist project so that became my focus […] it was quite strategic in terms of my own career as an artist because I felt quite invisible in the North East as an artist (Visual artists, Newcastle Upon Tyne)

Allen (1997) talks about “a collective, spatial response to changing conditions” (p.6). In this respect it is easy to recall that the growing importance of culture and cultural economies has been a social and spatial response to the decline of the traditional industry. Even spatially in the city context the old industrial warehouses have been the first spaces to be taken over by artists and new creative practitioners in order to develop their practice (Zukin, 1985). This has occurred in Newcastle-Gateshead in the areas of Grainger Town where derelict buildings have been converted into office space for media industries and in the Ouseburn Valley area where artists have clustered around an old warehouse building, 36 Lime Street. As a photographer suggests in the context of Newcastle-Gateshead

I think people underestimate the North East culture, I think it is very deep-rooted in various areas like the industry that used to be here in the area, things like shipyard and mining and I think the lack of that now has left a bit of a void and some of the art works have helped to fill in that gap (Photographer, Northumberland)

5.2 Non-linearity, feedback and adaptation and co-evolution

Although in the literature there is a strong pressure towards homologation and to see the cultural development of a city as a positive event in which there is wide consensus, in fact complex systems do not interact on the basis of consensus and cause-effect developments, but of non-linearity, which is often what can be seen in the cultural development of cities. The fact that interactions are not regulated from above but are depending of internal and external feed-back of the system, and its connectivity and adaptive capacity, implies that making predictive assumptions about outcomes and trends, can no longer be given for granted (Holland, 1995). It also means that “behaviour patterns can emerge without being intended and in fact often emerge contrary to intention, producing unexpected and counter intuitive outcomes” (Stacey, 1995, p. 480).

 There is often an assumption that public policy and investment act in a direct causal way, and have a straightforward effect on the matter addressed. On the contrary, listening to cultural agents, creative industries and agencies of the city there is great room for non-linear interaction, also influenced by processes of adaptation and feedback between agents. Even large investments such as the establishment of a new contemporary art gallery which could be addressed as an injection having direct impact on local cultural economies sometimes do not provide a direct connection with local artists or development of creative industries.

I think Baltic is kind of this great resource that we’ve got, but it’s not, it’s kind of not functioning regionally; artists aren’t trying a connection with Baltic, and Baltic’s not really helping artists in the region. (Director, commercial art gallery).

In the development of the Baltic, the contemporary art gallery in Gateshead, a specific focus has been on recognising the importance of building audiences and involving the local community in contemporary art. Nevertheless, as complexity theory suggests, microscopic interactions can result in new and different possible structure at the level of the whole. So if we look at the outreach and participation programme of a museum or a gallery, we could certainly argue that it could have a role in building an audience for arts events and for the art market – ultimately having an impact also on local artists. A possible non-linear effect of the system convergence towards arts and culture in the North East region through public investment and development of private commercial galleries can be seen in the impact of the Own Art scheme. The North East region of England accounted for 23%[ii] of the national sales of contemporary art supported by this scheme. One explanation for this concentration of sales is the stimulation of an art-buying market through the awareness of art created by the investment in this region. The growth in art sales can also function as positive feedback to the system as a whole. However, it is impossible to attribute this effect to one single element or incident, but it needs to be linked to a combination of many elements and their interaction: “nonlinear feedback system operates at the edge of instability, therefore, agents in that system cannot intend the long-term outcomes of their actions. Instead, those long-term outcomes emerge from the detailed interactions between the agents” (Stacey, 1995, p. 483).

The same non-linear effects can be seen in the growth of the creative industries sector in the region. Although it could be interpreted as an effect of the region’s investment in culture, it needs to be further conceptualised not in the attraction of talents and international companies[iii], but in the regional supportive environment and its grassroots cultural development. The non-linearity of the regeneration process has been described elsewhere: “these developments were underpinned not by economic imperatives, but by a will and determination on the part of local arts activists and politicians to provide the area with the cultural facilities that it deserved. It may well be the case that the cultural imperative is the crucial ingredient here” (Bailey et al., 2004, p. 61). The possibility to support and implement creative economies without a direct investment, but with indirect support from audiences and the market, through advocacy and participation is further presented by a designer:

from the public sector perspective I think that’s were they should be putting the main effort in educating people, helping people understand, highlighting, showcasing and that would do more for the design business than any grant that they give out, grants just increase the number of businesses while this would increase the number of contracts available and the industry would expand consequently (Designer, Newcastle Upon Tyne)

Part of the public strategy behind the development of the cultural infrastructure of Newcastle-Gateshead has been in the long-term embedded approach to culture and in the focus on participation and access. This kind of policy seems to respond to a need for the agents of the system to co-evolve, to change within a changing environment, and to reciprocally influence each other. The evolution of one domain or entity is partially dependent on the evolution of other related domains or entities (Kauffman 1993). It is not just simple adaptation; it is an evolution which changes the agents and changes the environment. This is suggested by the following description of the change which occurred in the cultural landscape of Newcastle-Gateshead “these developments succeeded precisely because the local people took ownership of them, not as exclusive symbols of wealth but as sources of local pride that regenerated a local source of identity as much as they did the local economy” (Bailey et al., 2004, p.61). The co-evolution is also suggested by the long-term implementation of the cultural investments which started in the early 90s to culminate in 2004 with the opening of The Sage Gateshead but which have been also implemented through Culture10, a 10-year support programme of festivals and events running until 2010.

you see places like The Sage Gateshead, people are making hard business decisions, obviously thinking that it is worth investing in it and they would not be doing it if there was not a market, it is fantastic for the city and the knock-on effect is that you get smaller people following, it is a sort of piggyback effect and hopefully it is gathering momentum (Director, Commercial art gallery).


[i] The use of complexity theory and its principles in the present article does not aim to provide a simplified overview on the long evolving literature on the subject, which the author herself is still investigating and exploring. Nevertheless, referring to this framework of analysis aims to introduce a new critical approach to the study of creative economies, which is better informed of the wider debate on the complexity of urban and economic interactions and avoid the temptation to established simple causal links between a city economic development and its cultural infrastructure.

[ii] Own Art is a loan scheme developed in UK by the Arts Council. It allows a 0% loan for buyers of contemporary art in different commercial galleries associated to the scheme. Almost a quarter of all loans (23%) were made by galleries in the North East region, with the highest percent of sell achieved in any other region.

[iii] This approach which is typical of large American cities studied by Florida is probably not part of a European perspective of the creative economy if we exclude few European capital cities (see Gibbon, 2005 and Nathan, 2005).

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*Dr. Roberta Comunian is Creative Industries Research Associate at the School of Arts, University of Kent. Prior to this, she was lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Southampton. She holds a European Doctorate title in Network Economy and Knowledge Management. She is interested in: relationship between public and private investments in the arts, art and cultural regeneration projects, cultural and creative industries, creativity and competitiveness. She has been visiting researcher at University of Newcastle investigating the relationship between creative industries, cultural policy and public supported art institutions. She has previously undertaken research on knowledge transfer and creative industries within an AHRC Impact Fellowship award at the University of Leeds.

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Previous chapters :

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 1

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 2

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 3

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 4

Classé dans:Analyses, Expériences, Gouvernances, Ingénieries, Politiques culturelles, Ressources, , , , , ,

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 4

We are honoured and deligheted to publish Dr Roberta Comunian’s* last article engaging with the current research and debate about the creative city and the importance of cultural infrastructure in contemporary cities. It argues that much of the focus has been around the investment of cities in specific regeneration projects or flagship developments rather than addressing the nature of the infrastructures, networks and agents engaging in the city’s cultural development. The complexity theory and its associated principles can provide a new understanding of the connection between the urban space and the systems of local cultural production and consumption. Drawing on interviews with creative practitioners in the North East region of England, the paper argues that the cultural development of a city is a complex adaptive system. This finding has implication both for policy makers and academic research. It emphases the importance of micro-interactions and network between creative practitioners, the publicly supported cultural sector and the cultural infrastructure of the city.

3. The creative and cultural economy of the city as a complex system

The creative city model, as we have highlighted, has been used as an instrumental approach to developing cultural and creative economies in different urban contexts. Nevertheless, the limitations of this approach are clear in terms of sustainability, social inclusion and development of local grassroots cultural economies. It is important to see how support and cultural policy should therefore be developed without imposing strategies and characteristics which are extraneous to the local environment (Nathan, 2005), instead supporting and developing local assets and actors to enable them to build a sustainable cultural economy.

Much of the economic literature relating to creative industries and regional economic development mentions the importance of networks and co-location in order to build a vibrant economy (Coe, 2001; Coe, 2000; Gibson, 2003; Kong, 2005; Lange, 2005; Scott, 2004; Turok, 2003). The creative industries sector is comprised of small and medium size companies, and sole trading is typical. It is therefore easy to see how networking can have a role and an impact in the development of economic growth and support for the sector.

When investigating the potentials of the creative city, it is not useful to establish which kind of investment and assets are needed if we do not first understand how creative and cultural practitioners work, and what kind of agencies they require for their practices. It is important to investigate how culturepreneurs “act in order to build up networks, to arrange meetings, and to establish urban laboratories where new products can be tested and where experience and knowledge may be shared” (Lange, 2005, p.82).

Therefore, it is essential to look at the development of local creative and cultural economies, adopting a new approach. In this respect complexity theory can offer useful insight into the cultural dynamics of the city (Allen, 1997; Batty, 2005), particularly as it examines the importance of a bottom-up approach where the determinants of the cultural development of the city do not depend only on the political choices of the leaders, but on the complex network of relations which the cultural agents and practitioners of the city build and develop. In this respect, Florida’s (2002) study of the creative class  suggests an interesting correlation of the relationship between cultural factors and the development of creative economies, but the way in which these cultural factors can be implemented or stimulated has often been misinterpreted.

As many authors (Finch and Orillard, 2005; Mitleton-Kelly, 2006) point out, complexity theory is not a single unified theory, but has been developed through the study of complex systems in different contexts, such as biology, chemistry, computer simulation, mathematics and organisational science. Nevertheless, part of this corpus of study has focused on human systems, and suggests that complex social systems (such as an urban environment) share features with other complex systems, and are able to create new order and innovate. Complexity theory offers some useful suggestions regarding the principles which guide the evolution and development of complex systems, and how cultural factors and agents interact, respond and evolve in different ways in specific contexts. More recently, Martin and Sunley (2007) have investigated the potential and the challenges of using complexity theory in economic geography. The way in which the principles[i] developed within the context of complexity theory can be applied to the social and economic dynamics of a city or region has been questioned, and as suggested by Green (1999), even though we can have snapshots of the complexity of a system and its complex behaviour, it is more difficult to address its evolutionary nature.

Using the framework developed by Green (Green, 1999) the second part of the paper seeks to question how the cultural economy of a city needs be studied as a complex co-evolving system (CCES), meaning that creativity and the cultural aspects of the urban context do not just adapt to changes in the environment (such as a specific policy or a large investment) but they also influence and affect that specific context. “The process is not unilateral but reciprocal or co-evolutionary. CCES have a set of interrelated characteristics that influence each other and enable them to create new order” (Mitleton-Kelly, 2006, p. 225).  In order to understand in which terms the cultural development of a city should be analysed through the lens of a complexity approach, we draw upon the case study of Newcastle-Gateshead and interviews carried out with cultural and creative practitioners of the North East region of England[ii].

4. Methodology and case study

The results presented in the following section were gathered over two years of research carried out in Newcastle-Gateshead and the North East region of England between 2004 and 2006. The project included 136 interviews with local creative practitioners in the region and people working in the cultural sector not only in the private but also in the public and not for profit sector. The central focus of the research was on the importance of place and networks in the creative economy, using both qualitative interviews and social network analysis.

The context of Newcastle-Gateshead and the North East represent a somewhat challenging case study for research into the development of local creative and cultural industries. On one hand, the region’s growing attention towards this sector is part of a long-term regeneration commitment, and on the other, Newcastle-Gateshead, unlike many of the famous case studies addressed by the literature, missed the cultural summit and missed the opportunity to be European Capital of Culture 2008 in favour of Liverpool.

The region’s focus on cultural investment began in the early nineties when the region attracted the Year of Visual Arts in 1996. The ability of some regional actors (lead by Northern Arts, now the Arts Council North East) to attract large public investments to the region in order to revitalise the local economy and develop local participation in arts activities is widely acknowledged (Bailey et al., 2004). These investments enabled the creation of large publicly funded cultural infrastructures, not only in contemporary art (The Baltic) and music (The Sage Gateshead) but also in theatres (refurbishments of the Northern Stage, Theatre Royal and Live Theatre), crafts (National Glass Centre, expansion of the Shipley Gallery), literature (Seven Stories), dance (Dance City) and other important events. Nevertheless, the question of whether and to what extent public sector infrastructure has benefited and boosted the local creative economy is not a simple one to address. The region, and specifically Newcastle-Gateshead have definitely benefited from a new image as a ‘creative city’[iii], but local development followed different patterns when the Capital of Culture event was no longer to take place in the city and new motivation and reasons to keep the city’s commitment to its cultural investments needed to be found.

At the beginning of the 2000’s, the RDA, local authorities and support agencies started to look at the potential economic impact of the creative economy locally and regionally, with a strong commitment to the idea of ‘cultural quarters’ as a hub of the city. At the marketing and promotional level, a first formulation of the ‘cultural quarters’ map of the city was developed by Newcastle-Gateshead Initiative (NGI), the city destination agency. In this first presentation 5 cultural quarters[iv] where included: the Quayside, Grainger Town, the Haymarket, Chinatown and Jesmond. The interpretation of what a ‘cultural quarter’ is was based mainly on the consumption of culture either through the presence of large cultural institutions or trendy shops. In this classification, no mention was made of the Ouseburn Valley, the largest co-location of artists and creative practitioners in the area.  Since 2002-3, a second ‘cultural quarter’ strategy has been led by the University of Newcastle, which developed a new master plan and major refurbishment initiative for its cultural facilities, but also addresses the role of cultural production (specifically through the Culture Lab and the Northern Writer’s Centre).  Additionally, investments in the Ouseburn Valley as the cultural production heart of the city, on the opposite side of the shiny Quayside buildings, started taking place.

More recently, a wider focus has been developed, based not on clusters, but networks. Specifically, various networks and infrastructures have been put in place to address the needs of the various creative sub-sectors. Agencies like Codeworks (for media industries), Northern Film and Media (for the moving image sector) or New Writing North (for writers) and others have been in charge of developing schemes and training to boost the local creative economy.

In the following paragraphs, we use the material collected through interviews and ethnographic research to address how the cultural and creative development of a city should be read from a complexity perspective. In particular, within this complexity perspective, we try to present a system which interacts at a variety of levels and the different ways in which changes and structures are experienced and understood by people acting at different levels in the system, particularly practitioners and policy makers.


[i]  For an useful overview on the principles of complexity theory see Martin and Sunley (2007) p. 6.

[ii] The field work undertaken for the present research included 136 semi-structured interviews with people working in the creative and cultural industries (within the private and the public and not for profit sector) in the North-East region of England. Interviews took place between November 2005 and April 2006. Furthermore, social network analysis has been used to test the role of networks and infrastructures.

[iii] Newsweek Atlantic Edition on 2nd September 2002 wrote “Newcastle-Gateshead listed as one of the world’s eight most creative city”.

[iv] The information are present on-line and include a map of the city cultural quarters http://www.visitnewcastlegateshead.com/cultureQuarters.php#  (accessed on 5 January 2008)

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*Dr. Roberta Comunian is Creative Industries Research Associate at the School of Arts, University of Kent. Prior to this, she was lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Southampton. She holds a European Doctorate title in Network Economy and Knowledge Management. She is interested in: relationship between public and private investments in the arts, art and cultural regeneration projects, cultural and creative industries, creativity and competitiveness. She has been visiting researcher at University of Newcastle investigating the relationship between creative industries, cultural policy and public supported art institutions. She has previously undertaken research on knowledge transfer and creative industries within an AHRC Impact Fellowship award at the University of Leeds.

_________________

Previous chapters :

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 1

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 2

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 3

Classé dans:Analyses, Expériences, Gouvernances, Ingénieries, Politiques culturelles, , , , , ,

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 3

We are honoured and deligheted to publish Dr Roberta Comunian’s* last article engaging with the current research and debate about the creative city and the importance of cultural infrastructure in contemporary cities. It argues that much of the focus has been around the investment of cities in specific regeneration projects or flagship developments rather than addressing the nature of the infrastructures, networks and agents engaging in the city’s cultural development. The complexity theory and its associated principles can provide a new understanding of the connection between the urban space and the systems of local cultural production and consumption. Drawing on interviews with creative practitioners in the North East region of England, the paper argues that the cultural development of a city is a complex adaptive system. This finding has implication both for policy makers and academic research. It emphases the importance of micro-interactions and network between creative practitioners, the publicly supported cultural sector and the cultural infrastructure of the city.

2.2 The contradiction of a global creative city and the importance of local assets

Although the concept of the creative city appears to be a very attractive and sophisticated policy instrument, few people have considered its global reach and local limits. As with many fuzzy concepts (Markusen, 2003) and global branding exercises (Jensen, 2005; Kearns and Philo, 1993), it can be seen as another globalised brand which has been accepted and adopted without critical debate or intervention. In particular, Europe has been very receptive to the concept (Florida and Tinagli, 2004), although previous research adopting a more embedded approach to the creative city (Bianchini and Landry, 1995; Landry, 2000) did not enjoy the same success. However, Montgomery (2005) points out that the creative cities listed by Florida (especially in the European analysis) often do not reflect the reality of the creative economy[i], and argues that “the only indicator that matters is the strength of a city’s creative economy, measured in the number of businesses and employees, and by the wealth they produce” (Montgomery, 2005, p. 339). As Gibbon (2005) suggests, even though Florida’s theory might be valid for the American context, this does not imply that a similar correlation can be found in British and European cities.

According to Bailey et al (2004), Florida’s creative class is far from promoting the kind of local culture and identity that is central to many successful urban regeneration projects. They argue that this paradigm promotes a globalised culture that can cause a location to become anonymous by virtue of its prescribed ‘diversity’: “the city allows you to modulate the experience: to choose the mix, to turn the intensity level up and down as desired and to have a hand in creating the experience rather than merely consuming it” (Florida, 2002, p. 232). On the contrary, successful urban regeneration projects are, according to the authors, those implying a strong involvement of the pre-existing community and local identity. In these terms, culturally based urban regeneration processes should not aim towards a multicultural and multi-identity town, offering the widest choice of cultural opportunities for the creative class. Instead, it should recover a sense of place, history and belonging. This vision is almost in antithesis with the decline of the identity and community links typical of Florida’s globalised city model. Furthermore, an unconditional and uncritical acceptance of this approach tends to underestimate the need for balance between the attraction of “foreign” talent and the development of local talent. In this respect, if the focus is the attraction of a highly mobile creative class, cities would have to continuously compete for the retention of those highly skilled people with other fast-growing creative metropolises. Furthermore, as some authors suggest with reference to the development of creative economies and creative clusters, the grassroots development of creative industries can provide a long-term view: “there is a growing awareness that the development of a viable indigenous sector is crucial to providing a long-term basis for employment in the industry.” (Coe, 2000, p. 392)

Moreover, this could lead to the possibility of many investments and projects attracting the creative class towards a city or town causing the progressive exclusion of local artists. This phenomenon could cause processes of gentrification and segregation, resulting in the formation of a dualistic development model. In particular, Zukin (1995; 1985), takes a critical standpoint with regard to urban regeneration processes based on culture. She claims that the goals of these interventions are mostly speculative and tend to involve arts and culture as a simple add-on, merely instrumental to raising the property value. In particular, Zukin reports the typical effect of the fast rise of the economic value of certain regenerated areas. This phenomenon can cause the artists who originally generated the attraction to be forced out of the regenerated area due to rising property values.

In their ideal of the creative city, many policy makers have forgotten to analyse the social problems and inequalities that are caused by excessive competition for the attraction of talent at the expense of the development of local communities (Brooks, 2000). Theoretically, there is no guarantee that investing in the attraction of “outside” talents produces better long term results than investing in the “empowerment” and consolidation of local talent. However, with an inward looking approach there is a risk of being trapped in defensive and self-comforting localism, rather than enhancing exchanges and interactions with other similar locations.

Bell and Jayne (2003) consider the role of design and design-led urban regeneration, and critically acknowledge that although some interesting case studies could be addressed, like the one regarding Barcelona or Glasgow, there is always a limit in practice. While there is often success in the re-imaging of the city and creation of levels of business involvement, and in terms of consumption, there is no evidence that the involvement of members of the community, or their view of the city or how design affects their life is being taken into consideration. In this respect, the potential in terms of social impact and social inclusion, often quoted as being one of the specific outcomes of these investments, is not so clear. The relation between creative economy and urban regeneration remains still an assumption that needs to be investigated further.

A careful reflection on the features of the promoters and beneficiaries of the “creative city” model is needed. It is suggested that “until we have a serious debate concerning values and ethics, the creative city will remain a comfortable ‘feel-good’ concept for consultants, policy makers and politicians rather than a serious agenda for radical change ” (Chatterton, 2000, p. 397). As Garcìa (2004) suggests, in the lessons to be learnt from past examples of culture-led urban-regeneration “the hype is surrounded by strong pressure among policy-makers and cultural practitioners to find the perfect model of action […] there are no straight answers, or clear models to follow “(Garcìa, 2004, p.322). From this perspective, cultural investments aiming at the promotion of creativity also have to meet a series of social needs and goals, such as the promotion of social inclusion, intercultural dialogue and the promotion of human and civil rights against economic and social exclusion (Donald and Morrow, 2003).

 

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*Dr. Roberta Comunian is Creative Industries Research Associate at the School of Arts, University of Kent. Prior to this, she was lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Southampton. She holds a European Doctorate title in Network Economy and Knowledge Management. She is interested in: relationship between public and private investments in the arts, art and cultural regeneration projects, cultural and creative industries, creativity and competitiveness. She has been visiting researcher at University of Newcastle investigating the relationship between creative industries, cultural policy and public supported art institutions. She has previously undertaken research on knowledge transfer and creative industries within an AHRC Impact Fellowship award at the University of Leeds.

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Endnotes

[1] For example, Montgomery (2005) suggests how Leicester becomes the second most creative city in UK, just because too much weight is put on the fact that it has a large non-white population even if its creative economy is not developed more than other UK cities.

[2] For an useful overview on the principles of complexity theory see Martin and Sunley (2007) p. 6.

[3]  The field work undertaken for the present research included 136 semi-structured interviews with people working in the creative and cultural industries (within the private and the public and not for profit sector) in the North-East region of England. Interviews took place between November 2005 and April 2006. Furthermore, social network analysis has been used to test the role of networks and infrastructures.

_________________

Previous chapters :

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 1

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 2


 

 

 

Classé dans:Analyses, Expériences, Gouvernances, Ingénieries, Politiques culturelles, , , , , , ,

MATHIS J. BOUT: ‘URBAN CULTURE IS THE NEW CREATIVE CLASS’

When you say ‘urban’, you say Rotterdam. And in this case we don’t just mean ‘urban’ in the literal way, but also as in ‘urban culture’. There’s no other city in the Netherlands where urban culture (in English better known as street culture) can prosper better than in Rotterdam. 

It was just a matter of time before the first urban expert stood up. Let us introduce to you: Mathis J. Bout. A young architect. His bureau URBMATH especially designs environments to facilitate the new creative class in Rotterdam. A group that has its roots in urban culture. To really get to know this new class, he submerged himself in the urban culture. His prediction for street culture in Rotterdam? “It all goes back to the essence.”

The term ‘urban’ has caused a lot of confusion in Rotterdam during the last years. One group associates ‘urban’ with a new creative class, derived from street culture. The other group sees urban culture as a destructive culture which is unfriendly to women and glorifies gangsters.
It’s obvious that Mathis J. Bout is part of the first group. In his opinion Rotterdam is thé urban culture city of the Netherlands and that offers the city a lot of chances. “Urban culture is the new creative class in Rotterdam. It’s the engine behind our city’s economy, so it should not be underestimated”

« Urban culture is the new creative class in Rotterdam. It’s the engine behind our city’s economy, so it should not be underestimated. »

Urban culture is the culture of the young citizens, a culture that has its roots on the streets. In Rotterdam hip hop culture has been the most important inspiration for the kids on the streets. “It’s quite easy to explain why hip hop and Rotterdam go along so well. Rotterdam has the right state of mind. ‘No words, just action’ is what we say down here. And that is exactly what hip hop culture is about. It’s not a coincidence that in Bed-Stuy (Bedford-Stuyvesant, an area in Brooklyn; red.), where rappers like Mos Def en Notorious B.I.G. come from, they say ‘do or die’. It’s the same attitude as you see in Rotterdam.”

From underground and misunderstood, urban culture has turned more and more into an accepted new creative class. In Rotterdam local authorities even started an institute to stimulate this subculture. (whether this is going to work is a subject for another story…). Fact is that urban culture develops fast in Rotterdam. “I think we’re at a point where it’s all gonna turn 360: back to the essence. You can see it happening in hip hop music in Rotterdam already. The sound is more authentic again. You hear it in the use of rough beats and the message in the lyrics is becoming more important. Guys like Vieira and MuSiz are a good example.”

“I think the same thing is going to happen in street art. Street art came from graffiti. Graffiti started with writing down your name on the wall to let people know you exist. Later graffiti was used to proclaim a message. That used to be all in words, but at the moment street art becomes more and more illustrative. People use illustrations to tell their story instead of words. I think there’s gonna be a movement with people who choose to go back to the roots of graffiti.”

Though in street art Mathis also sees a new trend. Artists do not only use a wall and paint or stickers and pens anymore, they explore other ways of sending out their message. “I’ve already seen urban knitwear; Colourful knitwear around a pole. I wouldn’t be surprised if artist start exploring more and more new ways to tell their story.”

Innovative street art in Rotterdam

Mathis’ mission is to facilitate all these forms of urban culture with the right environment. In his point of view not the architect, but the user is the starting-point for designing buildings and environments. He’s ready to give Rotterdam and other cities what they need with his bureau URBMATH. The website www.urbmath.com is online soon.

Author: Ellen Mannens

Source : 2010LAB.tv

2010LAB.tv is a project of the ecce (european centre for creative economy), an institute of RUHR.

Classé dans:Analyses, Expériences, Gouvernances, Ingénieries, Politiques culturelles, , , , , ,

Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 2

We are honoured and deligheted to publish Dr Roberta Comunian’s* last article engaging with the current research and debate about the creative city and the importance of cultural infrastructure in contemporary cities. It argues that much of the focus has been around the investment of cities in specific regeneration projects or flagship developments rather than addressing the nature of the infrastructures, networks and agents engaging in the city’s cultural development. The complexity theory and its associated principles can provide a new understanding of the connection between the urban space and the systems of local cultural production and consumption. Drawing on interviews with creative practitioners in the North East region of England, the paper argues that the cultural development of a city is a complex adaptive system. This finding has implication both for policy makers and academic research. It emphases the importance of micro-interactions and network between creative practitioners, the publicly supported cultural sector and the cultural infrastructure of the city.

 

2. Complexity thinking and the creative city

2.1. Complexity theory and its principles

While this paper cannot present a full account of CT, it attempts to explore how this theory might provide a new key for a deeper and more articulated understanding of the cultural dynamics that unfold in urban contexts. In order to do so a brief outline of the theory is provided and its main principles are introduced.

Secondly, the application of complexity to cultural economy is explored, in particular as related to creative industries and cultural production in previous research. Finally, methodological issues are addressed to explore the potential and limits of using CT in the creative city debate.

As many authors (Finch and Orillard, 2005; Mitleton-Kelly, 2006) point out, complexity theory (CT) is not a single unified theory, but has been developed through the study of complex systems in different fields, such as biology, computer science and organisational studies. The CT was first developed in scientific disciplines but has recently been adopted and integrated in the social sciences approaches (Byrne, 1998; Urry, 2003).

This new focus on human systems has suggested that complex social systems, such as cities or institutions, share features with other complex systems. CT offers some useful suggestions regarding the principles which guide the evolution and development of complex systems and how agents interact, respond and evolve in different environments. Nevertheless, it can be argued that its insights have not had wide adoption in social and economic geography although some seminal papers such as Thrift (1999) and more recently, Martin and Sunley (2007) have attempted to clarify its potential and challenges

Across different disciplines, a system can be considered ‗complex‘ when it displays the characteristics and specific principles outlined in Table 1. The key feature of the system must be that its elements interact in a non-linear way: it is not possible to forecast the behaviour and direction taken by the system as a whole by simply having knowledge of its components.

The first step to understand a complex system is identifying who are the agents interacting within it. These can be both human and non-human elements. This is particularly relevant to the cultural field as non-human elements such as a specific place, idea or cultural product can have powerful influences on a city‘s cultural development.

Complex systems are also open systems; therefore, external elements interacting with the cultural field must also be taken into consideration. Elements which might be marginal to the cultural development, such as the local environment and its economic development can have important influences on the system. Through CT we accept that there are no deterministic patterns that can be followed, this is one of the main criticism to the creative class theory.  The value of using CT lies in the possibility to understand the micro-dynamics of the system. This allows us to identify the emergence of structures and organisational forms that support and facilitate the connectivity and growth of the system will be addressed.

Another key aspect of CAS is their evolutionary nature; they develop through processes of trial-and-error, ―failures and successes are not primarily the signals of right or wrong policies but, rather, the by-pro duct of a natural learning process‖ (Lambooy, 2002, p. 1033).

Table 1:  Principles of CT and possible application in the cultural field (sources: Colliers (1998); Pavard and Dugdale (2000), Martin and Sunley (2007))

 

 

2.2. Complexity and the creative industries

As suggested, there are a variety of ways to read the development of cultural economies in cities as a CAS. To support this view, there are a series of other contributions, which are linked with the creative industries literature, which needs to be acknowledged. They also seem to integrate the complexity perspective at different scales: looking at interactions between creative industries within local clusters and, at the macro-level, in relation to the interaction between creative products and their global markets. The paper argues that these perspectives need to become part of the policy thinking also at an urban development level. The limits of the current debate, specifically in relation to the opposition between cultural production and cultural consumption, needs to be considered. When analysing creative industries production systems, the importance of patterns and dynamics of cultural consumption in the city is often overlooked. On the contrary, when cultural consumption (from the perspective of regeneration, image or participation) is studied, the system of local cultural production of that specific context is often ignored. [5]

At the micro-level (interaction among creative practitioners and local networks) there have been key contributions underlining the role of local intermediaries in facilitating interactions among local creative industries (Fleming, 2002), the importance of social dynamics in the interaction of creative industries (Kong, 2005) and the role of place as creating consensus among different agents (Julier, 2005). A large part of the literature relating to clusters and regional economic development suggests the importance of networks (Christopherson, 2002; Coe, 2000; Crewe, 1996; Ettlinger, 2003; Gordon and McCann, 2000; Grabher, 2002; Johns, 2006; Knox et al., 2005; Meusburger, 2000; Mossig, 2004; Neff, 2004; Sturgeon, 2003) and these arguments have been, on various occasions, interconnected with the urban cultural infrastructure through terms such as cultural quarters or cultural milieu.

At the meso-level (the urban development and its cultural dynamics) the contributions have been weaker in reference to identifying key structures and dynamics but the need to a better understanding of the interaction between consumption and production in the creative city as been acknowledged (Chapain and Comunian, 2009; Hall, 2000, 2004; Pratt, 2009).

At the macro-level (the markets dynamics in the creative economy) there has been a growing recognition of the specificities of the creative sector, particularly: its social contagion dynamics (Kretschmer et al., 1999); the thin boundaries between the creative, knowledge and information sectors (Cunningham, 2004); its evolutionary dynamics and the role of social network markets (Albertsen and Diken, 2004; Potts, 2007; Potts et al., 2008); the role of consumer and meanings creation (Hartley, 2004) and the breaking down of barriers between producer and consumer (Uricchio, 2004).

The nature of the creative industries, as described by the literature mentioned, seems to suggest a potential role for CT, without directly acknowledging or applying it.  In fact, while creative industries are embedded in closely linked local networks (Banks et al., 2000; Coe, 2000) they also are part of a global cultural production system (Scott, 2004). The interactions between public and private in the sector also implies a strong openness and instability (O’Connor, 2002). This is further accentuated by the bifurcated structure of the sector where few multinational corporation co-exist with a miriade of micro-enterprises, freelancers and sole-traders (Jeffcutt and Pratt, 2002). All these features inevitably add to the complexity of the sector and its relation with the urban context.

The understanding of micro-dynamics among creative industries and other agents at the local level is key in the understanding of the development of creative cities. This needs to be also integrated into the bigger picture of the creative economy and its global dynamics, although for space constrains this paper will only superficially consider this.

 

2.3. Methodological implications and limits

The application of CT encourages a stronger focus on process rather than outcomes. It does so by exploring the interaction among agents alongside the changes taking place in the context. We must consider what the manifestations of these interactions are and how they can be capture by the researcher. This is one of the most challenging aspects of CT. Most of the changes and interactions are hard to identify as they involve micro-interactions within the system.  It can be argued that this long-term complex perspective should be embedded in most of the academic research, but the reality is that the ‗short-term‘ policy (Jayne, 2005; Oakley, 2004, 2006) does not take into account this complexity perspective.

The application of CT allows for a variety of research methods, from qualitative approaches to mathematical modelling and network analysis. In this paper, the results from qualitative interviews and ethnographic materials from NewcastleGateshead are used to demonstrate the way in which the cultural development of the city behaves like a CAS. The findings imply an awareness of the agents of the complex network of interactions in the cultural economy of the city. The manifestations are very different across different sectors of the creative industries [6] as well as across public, private and not for profit sectors.

The way in which the principles of CT can be applied to the social and economic dynamics of a city has been questioned. Green (1999) argues that, although we can have snapshots of the complexity of a system and its behaviour, it is more difficult to address its evolutionary nature. This is a limitation which could not be overcome in this research, as it would require revisiting the context over time. Using the framework developed by Green (1999) the last part of the paper seeks to question how the cultural economy of a city needs be studied as a CAS, meaning that creativity and the cultural aspects of the urban context do not just adapt to changes in the environment (such as a specific policy or a large investment) but they also influence and affect that specific context.

The results presented in the following section were gathered over two years of research carried out in NewcastleGateshead and the North East region of England between 2004 and 2006. The project included 136 interviews and collection of social network analysis data with local creative/cultural professionals in both the private, public and not for profit sectors.

_____

[5] I acknowledge the suggestion of one of the referees in the necessity to point out this limit of the current debate.

[6] Although it would be interesting to explore these difference among creative industries sectors, for space limitation the paper will not aim to do this.

_____

*Dr. Roberta Comunian is Creative Industries Research Associate at the School of Arts, University of Kent. Prior to this, she was lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Southampton. She holds a European Doctorate title in Network Economy and Knowledge Management. She is interested in: relationship between public and private investments in the arts, art and cultural regeneration projects, cultural and creative industries, creativity and competitiveness. She has been visiting researcher at University of Newcastle investigating the relationship between creative industries, cultural policy and public supported art institutions. She has previously undertaken research on knowledge transfer and creative industries within an AHRC Impact Fellowship award at the University of Leeds.

 

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Rethinking the creative city: the role of complexity, networks and interactions in the urban creative economy / 1

  • Introduction
  • 1 Definitions and limits of the ‘creative city’
  • 1.1 What is the ‘creative city’?
  • 1.2 Contradictions and limits of the creative city policy


 

 

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